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Photo-sharing community EyeEm will license users' photos to train AI if they don't delete them | TechCrunch

Photo-sharing community EyeEm will license users' photos to train AI if they don't delete them | TechCrunch

Ima Berlin-based photo-sharing community that Got out last year To the Spanish Company Freepik After bankruptcy, it is now licensing its users' photos to train AI models. Earlier this month, the company notified users via email that it was adding a new clause to its terms and conditions that would limit user content to “training, development of software, algorithms, and machine learning models.” , and will grant uploading rights for improvements.” Users were given 30 days to opt out of removing all their content from IEM's platform. Otherwise, they were consenting to this use case for their work.

By its 2023 time Acquiring, EyeEm's photo library includes 160 million photos and nearly 150,000 users. The company said it will integrate its community with Freepik over time.

Once thought of as a potential challenger to Instagram — or at least “Europe's Instagram” — Freepik, IM was down to a staff of three before being sold to TechCrunch's Ingrid Linden. Reported. Freepik CEO Joaquin Cuenca Abella hinted at the company's potential plans for IEM, saying it will explore how to bring more AI into the equation for creators on the platform.

As it turns out, that meant selling his work to train AI models.

Now, to EyeEm Latest terms and conditions reads as follows:

8.1 Provision of Rights – EyeEm Community

By uploading content to the EyeEm Community, you grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, transferable and sublicense with respect to your content to reproduce, distribute, publicly display, modify, adapt, derivative works grant the right to create, communicate to the public and/or advertise such. Content

This includes, in particular, the sublicensable and transferable right to use your content for the training, development and improvement of software, algorithms and machine learning models. If you do not agree to this, you must not contribute your Content to the EyeEm Community.

The rights granted in this Section 8.1 with respect to Your Content survive complete deletion from the EyeEm Community and Partner Platforms in accordance with Section 13. You may request deletion of your content at any time. Its terms can be found in Section 13.

Section 13 details a complex process for deletion that begins by first deleting images directly — which won't affect content that was previously shared on EyeEm Magazine or on social media, the company notes. Is. To delete content from EyeEm Market (where photographers have sold their images) or other content platforms, users must submit a request to support@eyeem.com and provide the Content ID number for those images. which they want to delete and whether it should be Also removed from their account, or just from EyeEm Market.

Of note, the notice states that these deletions from EyeEm Market and partner platforms may take up to 180 days. Yes, that's right: it takes 180 days to request a deletion, but users only have 30 days to opt out. This means the only option is to manually delete the photos one by one.

Even worse, the company added that:

You acknowledge and agree that your permission for EyeEm to market and license your Content pursuant to Sections 8 and 10 shall remain valid for the time frames set forth above. Content is not deleted from EyeEm and all partner platforms within. All license agreements entered into in full prior to deletion and the rights of use granted herein are not affected by deletion or request for deletion.

Section 8 is where the license rights to train AI are detailed. In Section 10, EyeEm informs users that if they delete their account they will waive their right to any payment for their work. Caught!

EyeEm's move is an example of how AI models are trained on the backs of users' content, sometimes without their express consent. Although EyeEm offered an opt-out mechanism, any photographer who missed the announcement would have lost the right to dictate how their photos were used going forward. Given that EyeEm's status as a popular Instagram alternative has waned significantly over the years, many photographers may have forgotten they ever used it. They must have ignored the email, if it wasn't already in a spam folder.

Those who noticed the changes were worried they were only given 30 days notice and no. Options to bulk delete their contributionsmakes opting out more painful.

Requests for comment sent to EyeEm were not immediately confirmed, but there was a 30-day deadline for this countdown, which we chose to publish before hearing a response.

Because of this kind of dishonest behavior, users today are considering moving to the open social web. federal platform, Pixelfedwhich runs on the same ActivityPub protocol that powers MastodonEyeEm is taking advantage of the situation to attract customers.

In a post on his official account, Pixelfed announced “We will never use your photos to help train AI models. Privacy first, pixels forever.

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