When you upload photos to a site, it is trusting some one with your precious material. Material which can make money, or if not ear money means a lot to you. There also the aspect of privacy, these photograph might be of your loved ones which you don’t want to appear on public areas. For all these reasons reading the License agreement is of great importance.
1. Read Read and Read
When you are signing up on a site usually the license agreement is showing to you, and you are asked to agree to it to proceed. Most people make it a habit to just click on the agree button and continue. Some people are under the impression that all these agreements are the same, which is the main reason why people don’t bother to read them. Understand that each LA can be unique and mostly have statements that need to be analysed carefully. So spent some time and read it carefully and if there is any confusion read it again until what they have stated is clear.
2. Do not ignore the words in Bold
Some words in the agreement might be given in bold. Do understand that the author wants you to give importance to those words. So do make sure that you understand the words in bold and also that there could be something hiding in those words. It could help noting down all the words in bold, which will give a basic idea of what the agreement pertains to.
3. Analyze according to what is at stake
The amount of time and effort to be dedicated to the LA should depend on what is at stake. If you are uploading preview copies of you priced work then there could be little damage done than if you where uploading the originals. That is the severity of damage if misused should be analyzed. There is little to be worried if you are just uploading some random shots that you took while strolling in the park as the amount of damage that can be done because of rights conferred upon the site by the LA is limited. Depending on the LA your photos can even become theirs, the point is to analyse what is at stake and work accordingly.
4. Do not keep on creating accounts in different sites
Even though when you sign up on more sites the exposure of your photos increase, it is not advised. The main reason is that most people have accounts on the famous sites plus auxiliary accounts on other sites, so if you are on the more famous sites its most likely that the audience you have from other sites are just repeats, thus you have no or little damage from signing up on other sites. The second reason being that it is better to have read and understood all the terms conditions and the LA of fewer sites than to simply have accounts that are not safe all around. The point is when ever you create and account be sure you know what you are getting your self into.
5. Use privacy settings properly and read about what is said about it in the Agreement
Most photo sharing services have privacy settings, which can be used effectively to block unwanted people from viewing your photographs. These setting can password protect or put the photos on encoded links so that you can control who has access to the photographs. The albums on social networking sites also have such settings. Now about the second part, the LA should be read carefully to make sure that the site will keep to the privacy settings selected by you under all likely circumstances. If not there is no point in having these privacy settings.
Most famous sites do keep to standards and there is little to worry about when only non commercials are at stake but when dealing with commercial stocks it is always advised to be careful and detailed analysis of agreements highly recommended.