Instagram: revise your new abusive terms and conditions.
  • Petitioned Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

This petition was delivered to:

Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

Instagram: revise your new abusive terms and conditions.

    1. Jennifer Cox
    2. Petition by

      Jennifer Cox

      Austin, TX

December 2012


After a major backlash from users and after more than 9,000 people signed Jennifer's petition on, Instagram announced they will revise their Terms of Service.

Jennifer says, "I want to thank you for signing my petition and at the same time inform you that Instagram has just released a statement and a new set of terms of use. You can read them here:

I consider this only a partial victory because while some parts have been revised, others remain the same. I was hoping that with these new TOS Instagram would strive to provide a more straightforward service to their users but they don't. Instagram claims that they do not plan to sell your photos in their statement but they still have kept the paragraph that gives them the right to sub-license your images without any compensation to you in their TOS. It is up to you to decide if you believe what they say in their statement letter or not but, as a photographer, I have decided to stop using instagram because that paragraph doesn't make me feel safe.

I said that I consider this a partial victory and I do so because in the last three of days we have learned that we can fight for what we think is right and be heard. It is not necessary for us to accept what is thrown at us by large companies. We are the ones who make these websites work by providing them with content, and without us they could not function or exist. It is because of this that we should be the ones defining what can and can't be done with our information, files and pictures. We have just started to make that change and I hope that we will all keep on fighting to make this a standard."

***UPDATE*** Instagram released a statement yesterday in which they promised to revise their TOS. I am hoping that their new TOS will be more respectful towards their users but, until then, I want to ask you to keep on spreading the word and get people to sign this petition. Let our voice be heard loud and clear: our work is ours and it is not yours to sell.


Instagram just published their new terms and conditions stating that they would become effective on 01/16/13. The announcement was made today in a small rectangle that was featured at the top of the news section.

I work as a professional photographer and I am aware of facebook's privacy and copyright policies. It is because of this that I decided to take my time to read Instagram's new policies.

On closer inspection I discovered two paragraphs that, as an author and friend of many different authors that make a living out of selling their images, didn't seem right.

Here they are:

1. Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service's Privacy Policy,.

2. Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. [...]You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.

The second paragraph states that any of the images you might post on instagram could be used for advertising and that they can also use your name and personal information for this purpose. When you see other people's content displayed as advertising, you may, or may not know if it is a paid advertising.

The first paragraph states what I find most shocking: that you grant them the right license your images. This means that instagram could take a picture you have shot and posted on their app, sell it to another company and that company could use it for whatever they wanted: advertising, print, TV, etc. It also means that instagram doesn't have to ask you for permission to do so and, what is worse, that they will charge the company for buying your image but you, the photographer, won't get paid for its use.

As a photographer I find these terms abusive. I am upset that after using instagram for more than two years I am forced to make a choice between letting them take over the rights to my work or leaving the online community I have grown so fond of. But I know now that if these terms become effective, I will leave instagram without a second thought.

It is because of this that I ask instagram to respect their users and revise their terms and conditions in order to let each of them decide if their work can be licensed and used under these conditions or not.

Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger, Instagram
I ask you to respect instagram's users and revise your updated terms and conditions in order to let each user decide if their work can be licensed and used under the conditions you propose.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 9,000 signatures
    2. Instagram's response

      Jennifer Cox
      Petition Organizer

      Instagram says they will listen to our concerns and even though some of the issues such as advertising within the app are addressed and talked about, other issues such as the sub-licensing of images are not even mentioned. They say their language has been misinterpreted and that you own the rights to your images, yes, it says that on the terms and conditions above, but it also says, just after it, you grant them the rights to use your images and sub-license them. This means that they can sell them to third parties. This needs to be addressed and changed.

      I want to hope that Instagram's TOS will change and that they will be more respectful towards its users, but until then I want to ask you to spread the word and get people to sign this petition. Let our voice be heard loud and clear: our work is ours and it is not yours to sell.

      You can read Instagram's statement here:

    3. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Arlene Jimison MAIDEN, NC
      • almost 2 years ago

      People do not want their personal usernames and photos published without their consent. If you don't want this to happen without your knowledge then Please sign this petition to prevent it. Thank you very much. Sincerely Yours Arlene Jimison

    • Arlene Jimison MAIDEN, NC
      • almost 2 years ago

      This is personal and it is unlawful for anyone to post without my consent my personal pictures and username to other entities without my consent prior to the event.

    • Christine Dortenzio WALLINGFORD, CT
      • almost 2 years ago

      I would not like my pictures to be used without my knowledge by other companies.

    • Jarelle Hooks FLOMATON, AL
      • almost 2 years ago

      I am a proud member of Instagram. I am a teenager and I do not want my identity to be released to the public cyber community without my consent.

    • michael kirby INDIANAPOLIS, IN
      • almost 2 years ago

      the music i like


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