In the week before Christmas Facebook announced that, as from January 16th, there would be compulsory changes to the terms of service of the photo-sharing service Instagram which Facebook bought for $1bn in April 2012.
The new terms of service read: “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,” adding “a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
Is that clear?
You’d have thought so, but Facebook then claimed that people who had been outraged by these terms had been misled by the “confusing” choice of language used in the new terms.
Eventually, in the face of strident criticism, Facebook backed down and the change to the T&Cs was dropped.
Like so much on Facebook – for instance the right to sell your details to commercial companies and the right to use your image for face recognition projects – this stinks.
Facebook is clearly up to no good. Like many American companies it’s got to the point where nothing will satisfy it except world domination.
In pursuit of that, like religious evangelists, companies tend to think the means justifies the end and they start doing amoral stupid things.
No one reads T&Cs. So if you don’t trust the company you’re dealing with, it’s best either to read the T&Cs (if you’ve got the strength and patience) or don’t do business with them.
I have to say it baffles me why so many people do business with Facebook.