Many tweeps worldwide are considering a boycott after Twitpic claimed the rights to cash in on users’ photos without permission or sharing any of the profit.
Users retain the copyright but Twitpic, which has millions of account holders, said it could now pass users pictures for publication by newspapers and magazines.
Twitpic has also signed a deal with news agency WENN which has exclusive rights to distribute any images, particularly those posted by celebrities.
The website is owned separately from Twitter but is designed specifically to help users of the microblogging site upload images.
Twitpic came to international attention when a passenger aboard the US Airways plane which crashed in New York’s Hudson River in 2009 used it to post pictures of the incident.
If that had happened today, Twitpic could claim rights over the images and sell them for profit to news organisations.
Since the change came in, the backlash has already forced Twitpic to rewrite some of the details of its terms and conditions.
Twitpic founder Noah Everett admitted the changes had caused ‘some confusion’ and apologised for ‘our lack of clarity’.
He released new terms which read: “You retain all ownership rights to Content
uploaded to Twitpic. However, by submitting Content to Twitpic, you
hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free,
sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute,
prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in
connection with the Service and Twitpic’s [and its successors’ and
affiliates’] business …”
“As recently as last month, a Twitpic user uploaded newsworthy
images of an incident on a plane, and many commercial entities took the
image from Twitpic and used it without the user’s permission,” he