Photography organisations rally against Instagram’s terms of use

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The American Society of Media Photographers has joined forces with the National Press Photographers Association, The Digital Media Licensing Association, American Photographic Artists, This Week in Photography, Professional Photographers of America, Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage, Graphic Artists Guild and American Society of Picture Professionals, to campaign against Instagram’s “far-reaching terms of use”.

“The organisations believe that few of the users who share images on the site understand the rights they are giving away,” read a statement issued by the ASMP, which has also published a series of essays and analysis called “The Instagram Papers”.


“The Terms of Use give Instagram perpetual use of photos and video as well as the nearly unlimited right to license the images to any and all third parties,” the organisations explain. “And, after granting this broad license to Instagram, users also relinquish the right to terminate the agreement. Once uploaded, they cannot remove their work and their identity from Instagram. Additionally, in the event of litigation regarding a photo or video, it is the account holder who is responsible for attorney and other fees, not Instagram.”

According to ASMP’s executive director Eugene Mopsik, these terms of use can lead to photographers’ rights to be infringed upon in an unprecedented way. “We are concerned that not only have Instagram’s Terms of Use gone beyond acceptable standards, but also that other social media providers may use these onerous terms as a template for their own agreements,” he says.

The ASMP and other organisations are now planning a series of actions to address “these egregious terms before they become the industry standard.”

Read The Instagram Papers on the ASMP website [PDF Link].