Scott Bourne, over at Photofocus, points out another highly invasive Terms of Service that photographers need to be aware of, this time from Twitter.

Twitter? Photos? Yes ma’am, the new Twitter is rolling out even as we speak, and bringing images along with it.

It’s also bringing along the new TOS, which states:

“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).”

Yessum, they have the right to sell or otherwise use your photo in any way they see fit.

Now you’re not going to care if you take a picture of that great meal you are about to chow down on at the local Denny’s. However, what happens if you’re a commercial photographer and you post a photo you took for a campaign? Boom. It’s Twitter’s to do with as they like.

As Bourne points out, though, this sort of language is typically boilerplate, put in there by lawyers. The fact that they could sell all your photos and them actually doing so is a wide gulf. But the fact that they could should be enough to give you pause.

Twitter is not unique in this sort of boilerplate language which assumes useage rights of your photos. Many online services do the same, including most of the third-party Twitter photo viewers. However, Twitter is the flavour du jour, and before you get all excited about this new feature, make sure you know what you’re getting into. That’s all.

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