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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 2:27 PM on 03.24.11
->> Just a little PSA from your friendly (paranoid) neighborhood copyright neurotic...

Some of you may be aware of a new smartphone app called Color. News articles leading up to this week have been saying how much "anticipation" has been building for it. While I don't necessarily care what everyone within 150 feet is shooting per se, I do see potential for using this for experimental projects and such.

But then I stumbled on this little nugget in today's article:

"Photos taken through the app, which launches on Thursday morning, are public by default. They're stored on Color's servers and the company owns them..."

"By default" suggests that you can disable the public sharing... Which could be a good thing because who wants to bet that by tomorrow morning at least one prankster is going to take a photo of his junk in a restroom near Times Square so that everyone outside gets a little peep show?

But the other part that leapt out was the second sentence about how Color owns what you shoot. So I took a look at the license agreement for the program and it's of course bad, but not as bad as it could be:

"... you grant (and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant) to Color: (a) a royalty-free, world-wide, fully paid-up, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to (i) store, use, reproduce, distribute, modify, adapt, and publicly display your images within the Site and in the Color Environment, as individual images or as part of a compilation and (ii) use and reproduce any of your Images or comments in any or all media throughout the world for the purpose of transmitting or publicizing the App or Color Labs, Inc. or Color; (b) the perpetual and irrevocable right, but not the obligation, to delete any or all of your Images and/or comments from the Color servers and from the Site, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and for any reason or no reason, without any liability of any kind to you or any other party; and (c) a royalty-free, fully paid-up, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to copy, analyze and use any of your Images and comments as Color may deem necessary or desirable for purposes of debugging, testing and/or providing support services in connection with the App or the Site."

So... Basically what it's stating is that they own the images you take with their program and that they can use the photos any way they see fit to "publicize" the app. That translates to them getting free commercial use to promote themselves and clearly skirts around any mention of editorial usage right? Well, not so fast.

While most of us would _never_ do this, let's say a bomb goes off in the middle of a crowded city. We're all well accustomed to "citizen journalists" now and know that tweets and MMSs will be flying before the last of shrapnel hits the ground. There are going to be people using this program to take their photos because they want to share with others around them and such. Before you know it, Color has a fairly decent collection of images before the call goes out over the police scanner.

Color then puts together a "press packet" that they send to AP, Reuters, CNN which in the bottom of the presser says "all of these photos taken with the free app 'Color'". They promote their application and skirt around the language while your photos are out there being used royalty free.

It's just an example, but you see where I'm going with that. While it's an interesting idea, use the program at your own risk.
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jim Owens, Photographer
Cincinnati | OH | usa | Posted: 10:48 AM on 03.26.11
->> It's not paranoia if everyone IS out to get us.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 11:12 AM on 03.26.11
->> If the hypothetical prankster who photographs his "junk" is under the age of 18 then everyone within 150 feet who is running the Color app is suddenly and unwittingly in possession of child pornography. This would be a rather unfair way to wind up on the sex offenders registry!
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (2) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Adam Brimer, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 12:20 PM on 03.26.11
->> Just don't use the app.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

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Thread Title: Color
Thread Started By: Thomas E. Witte
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