There has been some uproar in the photo community about the Terms of Service for Google+. The TOS could have given the impression that you lose the right to your own photographs. This is not the case. It seems that Google updated the terms to make things clearer. This is straight from Google’s TOS for Google+:
“11. Content license from you
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.
11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.”
In essence, this means that Google has the right to resize and allow users to share the content you upload with other users. Very simple and clear for me. If Google does not have the permission to redistribute your content, you wouldn’t be able to share it. It is as simple as that.
When you upload content to any social media service, you expose your images to the public and there is the danger that people will steal your images and use them for their own usage without paying you. You can control to an extent by deciding on what size you choose to upload and present. Do you want to show your work to the world or hide it?
Enjoy sharing your work, there are some seriously creative people out there.