In the TOU, Twitpic states unequivocally that “all content uploaded to Twitpic is copyright the respective owners.” However, the very next sentence states that the company reserves the right to use or distribute your content on their sites – or any affiliated ones. There you go – you own your content, but they have the right to do with it as they please. They are very specific throughout the TOU in stating that no one else can ever use your stuff.
This is also part of the reason for partnering with World Entertainment News Network. That agency plans to initiate legal action against anyone doing so – other than themselves, of course. “There has been much unauthorized use of Twitpic images which we shall be addressing without delay,” said Lloyd Beiny, the agency’s chief executive. The claim is that only the accounts of celebrities will be affected, but neither company has agreed to answer questions for the press at this point. It could, in theory, apply to EVERY account on the Twitpic site.
The bottom line here is that you don’t own your photographs. The more information we put online, the less control we have over it. Note that I’m not intentionally picking on Twitpic. They are simply the latest company to do what every other kid on the block has already done: pray that you use their site without truly reading the terms and conditions. It doesn’t matter if you read them or not, y’all. You’re still bound by them once you sign up.
If you don’t want anyone other than yourself to have control over your pictures, written words and other data, then you likely should not put it anywhere online. You might get away with owning your own site and chasing down idiots who steal without permission on a constant basis, but who has the time for that?