It comes as little surprise that TwitPic announced they are now licensing images that photographers transmit over the TwitPic service. They, of course, have the right to do so, and we stand by the position we first put forth when we wrote about it last year (Morel v. AFP, AFP v. Morel - Which Way Blows the Wind?, 10/5/2010).
The model continues - 'offer a free service, or a limited one, build up a critical mass of users, change (or enforce existing) terms, and then aggregate the users' content for profit and gain.'
The New York Times reported here, and Photo District News wrote both 'Time to Quit Using TwitPic?' (5/23/11) and 'Twitpic: Laundering Images of Owners’ Rights' (5/24/11) about the realities of how the "free" model is affecting your intellectual property.
South Park has a hilarious show on the issue whereby no one actually reads terms of service here, as always, taking the issue to it's absurd endgame.
This just underscores the reality that there really is NOTHING that is free. While something may appear free, you are always giving something up when you accept something for free. Time, privacy, or, in this case, your rights.
Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.