In general, Snapchat users take a picture and send it to a friend or group, confident in knowing that the picture, once viewed, would be deleted except subject to a various conditions. Those conditions were laid out in yesterday’s update and post. The fact that pictures may be copied by recipients, or stored for a time by Snapchat, didn’t really impact how Snapchat users went about their business.
The claim being made in the Marketwatch and The Independent articles is that it is a new risk that Snapchat may use pictures commercially. While there is no indication that they have done so to date, we don’t think anything has changed.
From the old Snapchat Terms of Service (November 2014):
“You retain all ownership rights in your User Content. However, by submitting User Content to Snapchat, you hereby grant us an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, promote, exhibit, and display such User Content in any and all media or distribution methods, now known or later developed (the “User Content License”), subject to any privacy settings you have set to control who can see your User Content. Without limiting the foregoing, when you submit User Content to Snapchat in connection with Our Stories and other crowd-sourced Stories, you agree that the User Content License accords Snapchat the right to sublicense such User Content to other companies, organizations, or individuals in connection with the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion, or publication of Our Stories and other crowd-sourced Stories in any and all media or distribution methods, now known or later developed.”
From the new Terms of Service (10/28/2015):
“But you grant Snapchat a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). We will use this license for the limited purpose of operating, developing, providing, promoting, and improving the Services; researching and developing new ones; and making content submitted through the Services available to our business partners for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication outside the Services.”
Snapchat today took to its blog to clear things up. Specifically:
If you’re a Snapchat user, you should probably know that they might use your pictures somehow, if it suits them. When it comes to posting to Live Stories, you should expect them to be used – you are sharing them publicly. Personal snaps and messages, to our knowledge, haven’t been shared yet. If Snapchat decides to go down this road, they risk alienating a lot of users.
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