Instagram policy change: Facebook can sell your photos without paying you or even telling you

Many Instagram users aren't very happy about a recent addition to the site's terms of service. It seems now, Instagram has the perpetual right to sell users' photographs for use in ads, without having to pay you anything or even notify you.

The new intellectual property policy takes effect on January 16.

The only way Instagram users can opt out of the new policy is if they delete their account before the deadline.

But if users delete their account after the January 16, 2013 deadline, they may have granted Instagram the right to sell those images forever.

Instagram was purchased by Facebook three months ago.

Facebook's new rights to sell Instagram user's photos are spelled out in two additions to its terms of use policy.

One section omits the current language "limited license" and, by inserting the terms "transferable" and "sub-licensable", allows Facebook to license your photos to any other business or organization.

A second section allows Facebook to sell your photos... and keep all of the money, "a business or other entity may pay us to display your... photos... in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."

It is certainly possible that Facebook may not intend to profit from Instagram users photos, but after January 16, 2013 they certainly have the freedom to do so if they wish.

Facebook did not respond to repeated calls from CNET Monday afternoon.

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