Sharing Photos On Twitter – What You Should Know

Take a look at this it is a bit scary that what can happen to our photos which we share on Twitter as they own the pictures and can use them anywhere etc. etc. interesting read see below:

Amplify’d from

Photos on Twitter are a reality and will soon be more closely tied to the service. Right now, many photographers use services like TwitPics to do that. The photo above from an iPhone 4 is representative of many of these photos. And for most of us, that’s not a problem. But what about the pros?

There’s something every professional or aspiring professional photographer should know — unless Twitter changes its current Terms of Service (TOS) every photo you share on Twitter can be sub-licensed by Twitter, or worse. From the Twitter TOS…

“By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).”


“You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.”

Double Gulp…

Ask a real lawyer (not some guy named Larry who plays one on your local camera club forum) what this means. I did. My lawyer says it means that Twitter can do pretty much anything it wants with my photos (other than claim actual Copyright to them) and there’s nothing I can do about that. Is that an issue for you personally? Maybe not. It’s unlikely it will impact you if you aren’t trying to sell your photos. But if you are, read on.

When all is said and done, the power of Twitter and other social networking sites to share images is too great to ignore. I may never share an image directly on Twitter. I have used TwitPic to send iPhone pictures (a few times) and I do post a few images on Flickr. I’ve stopped using Facebook at all. All of these social networks require you to diligently read through the TOS. Yes it will hurt your brain, but no — it won’t make you go blind. In the end, there is no free lunch. Decide if the service they provide is worth the potential risk.

By the way, many of the third party services like TwitPic have equally concerning terms of service. Don’t think that by using these services you’re avoiding the potential issues I’m describing over at Twitter.




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