Brits may say “Cheerio” to Instagram, Facebook, Flickr photo rights

via Mashable
via Mashable

Brits, take notice: your Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr photos may now be up for grabs.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act includes sweeping changes concerning social media image ownership. It passed parliament and last week, it received Royal Assent to become law.

Says Digital Trends reporter Francis Bea, “The clause that’s a cause for genuine concern is the ‘Orphan Works and Extended Collective Licensing Clause 79,’ and according to The Register, which is calling it the ‘Instagram Act,’ it means that photos whose owners cannot be found can be used by anyone.”

Because most photos in the social media sphere lack metadata or other identifying information, a company or individual can claim it as an orphan after briefly searching for an owner. They will then be able to sublicense the image.

The only alternative to protect yourself and your photos is to register each image through an official database, PLUS.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, whose signatories include a majority of the world’s nations, are required by law to recognize the makers’ rights of ownership for works – like photos posted to social media sites – in a more diligent manner than the new law. What will be the fallout? It might all boil down to how Berne countries react to British products using photos obtained through the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act.

What is your reaction to this controversial new law?


Have app, will travel

If you’ve got time to travel and a healthy dose of adventure, a new app promises flight discounts if you let it pick your destination.

GetGoing, a San Francisco startup, offers savings of up to 40 percent to users who book a flight through the service. The catch: GetGoing does the choosing for you.

In a system called “Pick Two, Get One,” users pick two destinations from search results and the app makes the final choice.


GetGoing asks for your nearest airport and your search criteria: city, region name, or “experience,” which ranges from “Family-Friendly Travel” to “Skiing Exotic Destinations.” Choose your travel dates and the app does the rest for you, lending an element of surprise to the process.

Says Alex Vernitsky, co-founder and CEO of GetGoing, “You can easily find places that are affordable, that are fun for you to go to. That was the very idea: to get people who want to get on the road and see the world, and enable them to do it at a big discount.”

The savings come from the app’s relationship with airlines, many of which have empty seats to fill.

Currently GetGoing is only available for leisure travelers.

Will you check out this new app for your next adventure?

Marriott introduces new tech-friendly hotels


Marriott beckoned to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses of tech-savvy travelers weary of overpriced, spotty Wi-Fi access with nowhere to put their USB cords and lo, the Moxy Hotels brand was born.

The company recently announced the innovative budget-friendly hotel chain, which features free Wi-Fi connection, built-in USB ports in each wall socket, two “Plug and Meet” meeting spaces, 56-inch televisions for presentations, large writing walls, and complimentary computers. Guests can even check in with their smartphones. Aimed at the ever-wired Millennials, Moxy will open in Western Europe in 2014.

Crowdsourcing Colorado: citizens to rebrand the state


Everyone’s got an opinion. Now Colorado’s citizens have the chance to make their opinions known as the state turns to the masses and asks for their input on rebranding efforts.

The new campaign, “Making Colorado,” asks people to submit their ideas, tweets, and photos that capture Colorado’s spirit.

All material will be evaluated after the August deadline, with a brand council and youth ambassador council making key recommendations for the final product.

The site already boasts a growing variety of user-submitted content. While not all of it might be professional enough for the cover of a marketing brochure (“71 at 2 today. Snow by midnight. 22 high tomorrow. 😉 Only #MakingColorado“), the campaign demonstrates the burgeoning new age of digital collaboration.

“After examining a broad array of branding programs – good and bad – we built Making Colorado around the most successful practices that felt right for Colorado. [It’s] a diverse and vibrant state, but we’ve been fairly quiet about it. It’s time to bring our compelling voice to life in a manner that balances the needs, priorities and perspectives of all Coloradans. …Our success will rely on the participation and support of our fellow Coloradans.”

– Aaron Kennedy, Chief Marketing Officer, State of Colorado

Has your organization rebranded with the public’s help?