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Can Instagram Sell Your Photos?

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  1. Hi Heather…..talk about how much controversy Instagram’s new TOS have caused!

    With regard to sharing photos of client’s homes, I have never seen a problem with it as long as you do not disclose an address and you ask them first. You know how I take hundreds of photos and create collages and vignettes of corners of listings – it’s what I’m hired to do and what makes me stand out from the rest. The real question should be of authority over your intellectual property and protection of privacy.

    Even Flickr, one of my favorite photo sharing platforms does not allow its use for anything commercial – so posting photos of listings and or developments, may be construed as breaking their TOS.

    Now to look for a great watermarking app for the iphone ;)

  2. oh, forgot to add something – it upsets me more that I have to relinquish copyrights to my local board when uploading property photos to the MLS after I pay a professional photographer to take them. Agents steal my photos all the time and our MLS is protected. (leave that one for another discussion)

  3. Maureen Francis

    With syndication of listings, my listing photo are spread over thousands of sites. My clients know that when I list their homes. I have no problem with anyone who puts listing photos on Instagram, flickr, etc. if you google the address of most of my former listings you see my photos. Frankly, I don’t see the concern of having them on Instagram.

  4. You guys are funny. Sellers pictures are all over the internet. Just google the address for any listing. I love Instagram but I can’t say I care what happens to my Instagrams on the site. I have copies of them and I can use them any way I want. I can’t imagine anyone would want to buy them.

  5. sorry about that. I suppose there are Instagrams that people could sell.

  6. Heather Elias

    Maureen,
    The way the TOS are written, IG could sell your photo to a third party, who could then use it in ways you didn’t intend. Imagine if your clients’ home photo turned up in an advertising campaign for “We Buy Ugly Houses” or as part of a home and garden site’s blog post on “America’s Ugliest Kitchens”. That wouldn’t be your intention by releasing the rights for the photo to the wild, but it could happen. I think it’s better to be overly cautious when it comes to clients. Photos you’ve posted as a consumer, not as a business person, are of course a different case.

    ~Heather

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