Twitter users automatically grant Twitpic the right to sell their pictures, even though the photographer retains copyright, the UK?s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has said.

On Tuesday Twitpic founder Noah Everett was forced to apologise for ?confusion and lack of clarity? after Twitpic changed its terms and conditions for use of the service.

Its rules state that, by uploading content, users ?allow us to distribute that content on and our affiliated partners?.

In a subsequent blog Everett insisted that users ‘retain all copyrights’ to their photos and videos.

An IPO spokesman told Amateur Photographer last night: ?If people upload photos [to Twitpic] they still own copyright.?

However, he explained that by agreeing to the terms and conditions the user grants Twitpic the right to distribute their images, even though they still keep copyright.

This means that, in practical terms, Twitpic users lose control of their photos.

Twitpic?s terms state: ?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, sublicensaeble 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.?


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