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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Those Nasty Terms Of Service!

Facebook. Instagram. 500px. So many social media sites, so many web services. And when we sign up to use them we always have to accept the terms of service by ticking off a box and clicking OK. We have a sneaking suspicion that there's some stuff in there that we wouldn't necessarily want to agree to if we could help it, but we want to use the service. And after all, it is free.

I've done it. You've done it. We've all done it and likely will continue to do it. After all, what are the chances that somebody steals what you post. I mean, once you put 'stuff' on the internet that is searchable by Google, or other search engines, anyone can lift it right off the search page.

Well, it turns out that those pesky terms of service can, indeed, come back to bite ya! Recently, photographer and internet friend Mark Graf left 500px because of an incident where a company was and is legally able to simply embed his image on their site and use it commercially without any payment whatsoever. Rather than try to give you the details, why not hop over to Marks blog and read about it first hand? And sign up for e-mail notifications while you're there, his blog is a great read!

As Mark points out, photographer Michael Russel has also written about this. In fact, 500px was recently sold to the Visual China Group, and there have been subsequent concerns regarding intellectual property issues.

I had never signed up to use 500px, but I am on various other social media and sharing outlets that I am sure have similar terms of service. I guess we've been warned. This sort of thing has certainly been going on for a while. Welcome to the Digital Age (and I have to smile just a bit at the irony that as I proofread this I see my social media sharing buttons just below this sentence).