Twitpic is one of the larger photo services that integrates with Twitter, and is used by celebrities like Conan O’Brian, Lady Gaga, Soulja Boy and Katy Perry. The corporation has just overhauled their terms of service and signed a deal with celebrity photo agency WENN in a sweeping move that seems to give them a disturbing amount of control over your content — including keeping it after you delete it, and the ability to sell it in perpetuity.
Twitpic recently underwent a user backlash from a change to their conditions that implied they had full rights to all images, which they rapidly altered, adding:
The ToS now gives Twitpic “a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content,” a phrase which should put chills down the spine of any photographer.
The recently inked deal with WENN means that whenever a celebrity posts something to Twitpic and someone wants to use that image, they pay out to WENN and Twitpic, not the original photographer. Even more bewildering, you can’t just pull your images off the service. As Business Insider points out, even if you remove your images, Twitpic retains those rights until a “commercially reasonable” time has passed — which is a very long time if it’s a shot of a celeb.
According to TheNextWeb most other Twitter photo services aren’t much better, with one exception: Mobypicture, who leave you with full and complete rights. If you must use a public server, they’re worth checking out.