Instagram, deception and delusion

The furor raised over Instagram's new Terms of Service from basically everyone with a phone and the internet has raised some interesting questions and brought out a lot of opinions.  

In my opinion, Instagram should not have the right to sell your images without your permission and credit. I do not have that power as an editor and would never allow that to happen to any of the artists I represent.  There is a business to photography and that is why there are commercial photographers.  That is why fine art photographers work so hard to have gallery shows where the paying public can see their work.  That is why photographers painstakingly edit their images to sell to stock agencies who market their work and take a commission from sales. Instagram wants to be a self sustaining business.  Perhaps, rather than think they can be a player in the world of commercial stock photography while bypassing the rules that so many of us work so hard to maintain, they should accept what they are and become a subscription service.  On Flickr you can have galleries for free, but if you want to be a Pro, you've got to pay. 

Jonathan Jones, of the Guardian, has written an article on Instagram and the demise of photography as a valid form of art: "Join Instagram, join a collective act of self-delusion"

...."My camera gathers dust. The act of picking it up fills me with embarrassment. Taking a picture feels like signing up to some mad collective self-delusion that we are all artists with an eye for beauty, when the tragicomic truth is that the sheer plenitude and repetition of modern amateur photography makes beauty glib. If Instagram did deny that its users are the authors of their robotic images, it would only be stating the obvious".

Instagram has not been ignoring the response.  In an update after yesterday's outcry, Instagram has no "intention" to sell your photos.


An excerpt from this update:   "it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation."  
This may have been interpreted that way because the TOS update states "you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."  I suggest paying close attention to all updates and really looking over the final terms before deciding whether or not to keep your Instagram account.  

From Huffington Post, some Instagram Alternatives



When all else fails....follow the Unicorn Code.

© Sarah Claxton, taken with Instagram for iPhone