Why I abandoned Twitpic for photo-sharing

Despite my respect for Twitpic and its obvious value, I will no longer use the service due to terms of use that I consider unreasonable.
Written by Michael Krigsman, Contributor

I take many photographs and post them online, often on Twitpic. People like the photos and often request that I post more. Twitpic works well because it's flexible, easy to use, and integrates with major Twitter clients.

Despite my respect for Twitpic and its obvious value, I will no longer use the service due to terms of use that I consider unreasonable. Here are the objectionable sections from Twitpic's Terms of Service.

1. If someone wants to use my photo commercially, they need to ask Twitpic (but not me) and then credit Twitpic (but not me).

To publish another Twitpic user’s content for any commercial purpose or for distribution beyond the acceptable Twitter "retweet" which links back to the original user’s content page on Twitpic, whether online, in print publication, television, or any other format, you are required to obtain permission from Twitpic in advance of said usage and attribute credit to Twitpic as the source where you have obtained the content.

2. Twitpic can use or change my photos, in any, way without asking me first.

You retain all ownership rights to Content uploaded to Twitpic. However, by submitting Content to Twitpic, you hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and Twitpic's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

I'm not a lawyer, but these terms are unacceptable. I realize that Twitpic's business model requires such terms, so I will disengage for now.

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Update 6/26/11: Looks like MobyPicture offers reasonable terms of service. Here's their photo policy:

All rights of uploaded content by our users remain the property of our users and those rights can in no means be sold or used in a commercial way by Mobypicture or affiliated third party partners without consent from the user.

Moby, your excellent terms of service have earned you a new customer. Thanks!

[Top photo by Michael Krigsman]

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