Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Knickers in an Insta-twist

Oh it is a sad day for fans of Instagram today isn't it? In case anyone is not up to speed (although if your Facebook is anything like mine, you'll have read this 47 times already this afternoon), today Instagram have announced a change to their terms and conditions which will allow them to to sell people's Instagram shots with no credit or payment to the original photographer.

You can read more about this here

Obviously I get that this is a bit crap because who wants their photos making money if it isn't for their own pocket. I follow a lot of professional photographers on Instagram and their only option to keep their rights over their photos seems to be to delete their account before 16 January. That I can understand - clearly if you are a pro photographer then you don't want your photos sold behind your back. However, what I am struggling to understand are all the people on my Facebook and my real life friends who simply use Instagram as a sort of daily diary and post the odd photo of their shoes or a cupcake. For a start, if the photo is not well tagged, which most of them aren't, no-one will be able to find one that they want to buy anyway. Secondly, I am not making any money from those photos so if someone wants to use one of mine for something then I am not bothered as they are not taking anything from me personally. Thirdly, I do feel like all these people who are claiming to have some kind of "artistic right" to those photos is kind of kidding themselves. I think the creators of Instagram gave us these photo effects for nothing, and I enjoy using them, for free every single day of my life. If they want to make money back from that then fine, I really couldn't care less. I am hearing a few people saying that Instagram might sell their photos to a company with a bad ethical policy and therefore that company could make money from my photo. Well I don't think that argument can realistically apply to ANYONE who shops in Asda Walmart, gets coffees from Starbucks or buys eBooks from Amazon - these companies have terrible policy and if you shop there, they are already making money from you! So nothing will change. 

I think I am mostly peed off because I love Instagram, it is by far my favourite iphone app and you could say I am a bit addicted to it. I won't delete my account but I fear that of the 200 people I follow on it, about half will. And that is sad as I like looking at people's photos. Bloody Instagram. Anyway I will leave you for now with an Instagram shot of my beautiful new camera!

Lomography Belair - CitySlicker
Are you guys "insta-addicts"? Will you be deleting your accounts now? And am I just totally missing the point?
P.S. I am not even sure if this Instagram thing will happen to be honest, because of all the bad press and the fact that millions of users are threatening to go elsewhere. Fingers crossed!