Twitter has updated their Terms of Service, including a small passage which could see many creatives be given some harsh treatment if they share their work on the service.
As Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes noted on Twitter, the newTerms of Service means that the service can syndicate any of the media that you post on the site without needing to pay you.
— Tim Burrowes (@mumbrella) September 12, 2017
Twitter’s Terms of Service are definitely worth looking up, even if it is just to be aware of the rights that content creators have ahead of the terms taking effect on October 2nd. Take a look at the relevant passages below.
“By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed),” the terms state.
“This license authorizes us to make your Content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals for the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use. Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.”
However, as some websites, such as TechCrunch have reported, these services aren’t exactly new, and are just raising eyebrows because nobody had previously bothered to read the old Terms of Service.
Many users were quick to defend those who were taking issue with the Terms of Service, stating that it’s actually just standard practice for any site, such as Twitter, which allows users to share content such as they do.
This section is not new or changed in any way, and is standard for a social network which allows content to be embedded or re-used elsewhere https://t.co/OsLdXzLejC
— Alex Hern (@alexhern) September 2, 2017
As the The Guardian‘s Tim Ahearn noted on Twitter, it’s a standard procedure for any social network that gives users the opportunity to share content. As TechCrunch also notes, any content found on the site is already public, and therefore considered fair use, which is why many news organisations have been able to use content found on Twitter without paying the original creator uploader.
So while Twitter’s new Terms of Service aren’t exactly new, the fact that people are raising their voices in frustration at the current state of shared media on the site could serve as the catalyst for a future change in the way the site operates and allows users to be compensated for whatever content they may create and share on the site.