Advice on a request to use a photo


I'm not a photographer at all, I just mess around and post occasional things on Instagram.

An online blog/magazine has asked if they can use one of my pictures.

I checked them out and the site seems to be a travel one, highlighting things a bit off the tourist trail, mainly by skimming photos from social media posts like mine.

I checked out the terms and conditions and this one caught my eye...

"You hereby grant to *company* a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and publicly display the User Content you submit, in whole or in part, on *company*’s social media accounts, on or in any digital platforms of *company* (including websites, apps and e-mail), and on third-party websites and apps for any purpose, including for promotional and publicity purposes. For purposes of clarification and not limitation, nothing in this license transfers your ownership of the User Content to *company*. Nothing in this license requires *company* to use or publish your User Content in any specific way or on a specific platform or use or publish your User Content at all."

So I would still own it, but they would have irrevocable rights to do whatever they want with it and transfer it to whoever they want? :lol:

Any advice from folks who have experienced this before? Obvious if I were a photographer it would be a straight up no... But since I'm not and wouldn't be doing anything with the picture anyway I'm not really sure? I kind of dislike the idea that by taking photos from social media like that they are avoiding paying someone for them elsewhere...


The Gaffer
Staff member
Those terms are fairly standard on websites that you can upload to - we have something similar on here. But in this case you haven't uploaded anything or submitted anything to them.

As they have come to you asking to use the photo, it is up to you on what terms you licence their use of it.
The fact that they have approached you is positive as many places would just rip it off and not tell you.

I am guessing they want to use it free of charge without paying you? But as a minimum I think you should get a credit and backlink from them - and specify that they cannot use it on any other media or sell it in any way.

Ultimately if you aren't happy, just say no.