DETROIT (CW 50) Instagram users around the world seemed to issue a collective gasp when news broke that the social media giant is changing its intellectual property policy January 16 — and from then on can sell any photo taken with its app “without payment or notification.”

That means photos of your friends and family, that wacky weekend, even your honeymoon — could be used online, in magazine ads, even on billboards, without your permission.

Is that OK? WWJ legal analyst and Talk Radio 1270 host Charlie Langton says it should be.

“The Internet is the new public highway,” said Langton, a lawyer. “This is a tech highway, you should have no expectation of privacy when you use Facebook.”

Langton said anyone can snap your photo when you’re walking down the street and use it in any way they want, and users of Instagram are no different. Facebook bought photo app Instagram for $741 million this summer, and linked it with Facebook so users can immediately upload any photo to their Facebook page.

More than 5 billion photos have been shared by people using Instagram; Facebook has nearly 1 billion members. And nearly 300 million images are reportedly uploaded to Facebook every day.

Tech news distributor CNET says: “Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.”

Observers complain it’s just another example of Facebook trampling privacy rights and using other people’s work for their own profit. Even the work of professional photographers that appears on Instagram can be used in ad campaigns without the photographer’s permission — or payment.

In conjunction, a change in Facebook’s policy allows the social media giant to charge moneyicon1 Instagram Says It Owns Your Pictures  for commercial use of the photos that appear on it, according to CNET.


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