TwitPic Rights Grab

Twitter is all fine and dandy, but it’s kind of limited in its functionality. Some would argue that’s part of its success. For instance, you can’t post a picture in a tweet. But you can post a link, so all sorts of services have popped up to make it easy to upload your photos and create a short and sweet URL that takes readers of your tweet directly to your picture. One of the most popular services is called TwitPic. It would appear, though, that posting photos to TwitPic is actually a very bad idea. The service has recently been taken to task by concerned photographers everywhere for its egregious rights-grabbing terms of service. They read, in part: "You hereby grant TwitPic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute and prepare derivative works" of the photographs you upload. So if you upload a great new photo, TwitPic can not only utilize that photo for its own advertising, the company can re-sell the usage rights (that’s the "sub-licensing" part) to other companies for whatever profit they can. You the photographer, though, get paid nothing. The American Society of Media Photographers in a recent message to members suggested using a similar service from Mobypicture, whose terms of service are "short, simple and to the point." They state that all rights of uploaded content remain the property of the users and can in no way be used commercially by Mobypicture or third parties. Read all about the drama at A Photo Editor, then head over to Mobypicture and see how you like it.

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