Monday, May 5, 2008

OT: should I be using Picasa?

This is probably a bit off topic, but I wonder if anyone can tell me: who owns the rights to pictures posted on Picasa web albums? Recently, I've been using Picasa Web Albums to store some pictures of a holiday; mostly because it's so easy to upload them using Picasa on the desktop (yes, on Ubuntu too).

Now, I have used other online picture sharing sites (see for instance Flickr, Panoramio) and there's one big difference between Picasa and those others: the rights of the content owner are not explicitly mentioned on Picasa.

Panoramio explicitly mentions: "© All rights reserved by 'username'". By default, Picasa only says "download album" and "order prints"...that's completely the other way around! And will I be reimbursed when someone orders prints of my pictures (highly unlikely, I know)? I guess not, but obviously if prints are ordered, someone is making money off my pictures. I guess that would be Google, not me.

If you peruse the Picasa ToS, it only talks about the relation between Google and me, the Picasa web album owner, and how Google is allowed to use my pictures 'for promotional situations'. In the Picasa web album help, there is one chapter that deals with copyrights, but it only covers complaints of copyright owners who claim their pictures were uploaded to Picasa illegally.

So where does that leave me? My rights as content creator and owner should be mentioned explicitly somewhere, shouldn't they? Should I not be using Picasa?

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