Unlike simple photos, 360 shooters generally can’t share their photos or videos without uploading their images to a service that supports 360 viewing, such as Google Streetview. What rights are they giving up in the process?
GROUP 1: limited license
In this group are services where the photographer grants the service a limited license to use his content to provide the service. The photographer still owns his photo or video. The service apparently can’t use it for other purposes.
Flickr – “With respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of Yahoo Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Yahoo Services solely for the purposes of providing and promoting the specific Yahoo Group to which such Content was submitted or made available. This license exists only for as long as you elect to continue to include such Content on the Yahoo Services and will terminate at the time you remove or Yahoo removes such Content from the Yahoo Services.”
Bubl (Bublcam). “By posting Content to the Service, you grant us the right and license to use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute such Content on and through the Service. You retain any and all of your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Service and you are responsible for protecting those rights. You agree that this license includes the right for us to make your Content available to other users of the Service, who may also use your Content subject to these Terms.”
Theta360.com “Article 5. 1. All rights to Content belong to the user who posted the Content or to the right holder who gave the user permission to use the Content. By posting Content, the User gives this Company usage rights to the Content, including permission to copy, process, modify, display and/or send the Content, and may not exercise moral rights of the author against this company for processing, modification, etc. of the Content. 2. By posting Content, the User gives consent for the Content to be displayed publicly. …” This one is less clear than Flickr or Bubl, but because it refers to “processing, modification, etc. of the Content,” and doesn’t have sublicensing rights, it does not seem to be intended to extend to commercial use, but I could be wrong. Better consult an IP lawyer.
Giroptic – It’s a broad license but it says “… and otherwise use Your Content in order for Giroptic and its subcontractors to provide and enhance the Products and Services for you and other Giroptic users and for Giroptic to investigate and act upon any complaints regarding Your Content.”
GROUP 2: Broad license
This appears to be the most common model. The photographer still owns his photo or video, but by uploading his content to the service, he’s giving the service very broad rights – practically as though they were also the owner. For example, the company can sell the photo to someone else, or use it in an ad, without compensating the photographer. In some cases, the service also requires the photographer to grant the same broad rights to other users of the service. Sometimes, the rights are perpetual and irrevocable. The service continues to have the right to use your uploaded content even if you deleted it from the site.
Google (Streetview, Google+)
GROUP 3: Copyright transfer
Some services and photo contests require the photographer to transfer the copyright when they submit a photo or video. The photographer loses any further right to use his own photo or video. I haven’t seen a 360 service in this category thus far.
- Terms of service can be changed at any time. The links above can be outdated and might not even apply to you. Check to see if they apply to you.
- Your rights depend on your specific situation, including where you live. Consult an intellectual property lawyer!