IFJ Gives Cautious Welcome to Twitpic’s Withdrawal of Rights-grabbing Terms

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today cautiously  welcomed the decision  by Twitpic, a picture posting service, to amend its rights-grabbing terms. On Friday, Twitpic founder Noah Everett issued an apology for seemingly claiming  copyright on images uploaded on its website.  In a statement , Everett announced that Twitpic had changed its terms and conditions stating that "users retain all copyrights" to their photos and videos following the protest by Twitpic users and copyright disputes.

"This is an encouraging sign in the battle to defend authors' rights, " said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. 

"While we welcome Twitpic's apology and the acknowledgement of the issue of rights abuse, journalists should remain cautious when posting their work on social networking sites," said Elisabeth Costa, IFJ General Secretary. 

The IFJ warns that the announced changes don't go far enough because there remains a controversial clause regarding the use of content by third parties without the consent of authors.

"This means that by agreeing to the terms and conditions, the user grants Twitpic the right to distribute their images even though the terms say they still keep their copyright," said Costa.

"The unauthorised use by third parties seriously damages the moral rights of authors," added Costa, "The legal dispute regarding the unauthorised use of users' content on Twitpic by Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a lesson to be learned."

Earlier this year, the US court found in favour of Haitian photographer Daniel Morel who sued the French news agency ( AFP) for publishing his iconic photographs of the Haiti earthquake posted on Twitpi, without prior authorisation. AFP wrongly credited another Twitpic user as the author. The US court rejected the claim by AFP that Morel granted third parties (under Twitpic's terms and conditions) a broad license to use his photographs. (see IFJ statement and court's ruling)

For more information contact the IFJ at               +32 2 235 2207      

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in over 131 countries around the world.