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Your photos and social media? Nothing is free

Your photos and social media? Nothing is free tips tricks social media 2 digital cameras latest under slider

There are some issues with uploading photographs to social media sites.

We tend to forget that nothing is free and trust in what we are given — but have you ever read a terms and conditions of service?

Earlier this year, we heard a good deal about social media photo site Instagram’s changes in service terms and conditions. But what about the others?

Facebook is currently the largest photo-sharing site in the world, but what does their T&C say about the ownership of photographs or other content being uploaded?

Does the copyrights stay with the artist? And why do they strip the EXIF data?

You can find the Facebook terms here

Section 2.1 — “Sharing Your Content and Information” — states:

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

My understanding is that Facebook has the rights to resell any photographs uploaded to them without authorisation from the owner.

Oddly enough, this doesn’t bother me half as much as the EXIF data being stripped.

You may ask, why? The reason is simple; have you heard of orphan works laws being implemented worldwide?

In short, again from my understanding, is that both in the US and UK at this point – the only two countries I know that currently have orphan works laws – these allow for works where the owner cannot be found after a reasonable effort to be used without remuneration.

I get why this is being done, though define “reasonable”.

So what about Google+?

I tested a few photos a lot of the EXIF data is there including the author as well as the copyrights information. Additionally, the terms and conditions are clear:

Excerpt of paragraph 5 in states:

“Your Content in our Services

Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.”

Its better, but the fact that they do not eradicate contain you delete and the fact that it’s a free service that may change its T&C at any time concerns me too.

Moral of the story?

Read the Terms and Conditions before using any services.

For photography in the free world Google+ and now Flickr are compelling because they are generating money from advertising as a business model.

My choice tough will remain paid services like Flickr and 500px; there are other popular ones but they get really expensive.

Originally posted to on the 22 May 2013

New photography social home: 500px

I recently registered on a social photography platform which I had been looking at for a while, the cheer photography quality is inspiring. I have been looking for a new home for my photographs in the social world, I think I found it. I will continue posting to Facebook, Flickr and Google + but Flickr, my old photography social home, did not make sense anymore simply because the exposure is just not there. This has been a while coming.

here is my new home social photography address: do not expect a flood of photographs (though there will be initially) this is for what I consider my best work only.

I am already impressed with the response by the way, even Facebook and Google + do not generate this much interest and traffic in relative terms. In 1 hour I had generated 17 views, 8 likes and 4 comments for 4 photos.

Geotagging Workflow

My geotagging workflow has changed dramatically for my initial post in October 2009, I now only use my iPhone with the Trails app and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. And it all makes it so easy.

First and foremost, synchronize your camera time with your phone, this is relatively important for the geotagging process to happen correctly. Second, don’t (as it happened to me) forget to start Trails before you embark on your photography journey. I found that on long journeys, 6 hours plus, I needed to recharge my iPhone so I keep it charging whilst in my car.

There are 2 versions of Trails on iTunes, the free but limited Trails Lite GPS Tracker and the paid Trails GPS Tracker, I use the later.

Here are some screenshots from Trails:

Trails supplies me with both a GPX (Standard GPS tracking) and a KML (Google Earth) file the later is nice to show a photowalk trail on the web like I did here. The only issue I have with trails is the way to get those files from the iPhone, I need to send them by mail. I may despise iTunes but at least allow me to pull it off as I do other apps, in particular when it is a large file (my record is 8 hours).
Once I have the GPX file, I store it in the same folder as my photos to avoid loosing it and open Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, LR 4 has a new function called “Map”. Import your photos, select all those you want to geotag, click on Map, locate the squiggly icon (GPS Tracklogs) at the bottom next to the lock click on it, select “Load Tracklog…”, locate your GPX file, open and apply. That is all there is to it. you will need internet access to see the Google maps.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Screenshot
Adobe Lightroom 4 Map Screenshoot

You can see a few orange markers these are the newly geotagged photographs, you will need to save the photographs for the tagging to be written to the EXIF data. Also in blue (not shown here) will be the trail.

Happy geotagging

Social Networking

I was asked the other day why I accept any and all people as friends on Facebook, Google Plus and even LinkedIn. Is that not dangerous?

It’s rather simple, the more friends you have on social networks the more audience you have, the more the audience the more likely you are to pass your message and be successful.

Yes it would be dangerous if I minded people seeing what I write, I am always mindful of the fact that once I write something on the net, no matter if it’s my blogs, a social network site or anywhere else on the net, I am aware that it’s out there and could potentially damage my reputation or worst.

I think that the message here is, much like flying in a storm with a biplane, I’d rather not. If you want to discuss something private, use secure means of communications.

Blogging and social platforms

Over my blogging days I have come to realize that blogging is not a social platform, in fact I do not use it a such. However I have also noticed that, because I “advertise” my entries on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google + and others, I get most of my responses / replies on those platforms. People seem to think that whether they reply on the social platform of their choosing it is the same as replying on the post. It is not, there is no aggregation of the replies on the posts and often the discussion falls flat.

Let be be clear about this too, I am talking about replies not Facebook likes, Google +1’s or re-tweets though I find those problematic too, however this is a technology issue.

So now I face a problem, and I am certain I am not alone, I can aggregate Facebook discussions on my blog but I may end up violating privacy. But if I do aggregate it would need to be across all social networks and I have not found an easy solution to that as yet.

So what is the solution? Truthfully, user education, post replies where you read the article, it helps the writer’s credibility with the search engines. At this time there is little more that can be done.

Have you got a solution?