Uploading photos to Imgur appears to assign them rights to do whatever they wish with them.
It would appear that, taken on face value, uploading an image to Imgur gives them total non-exclusive rights to use it in any way whatsoever as they see fit, irrevocably, for ever, and for free.
This of concern to Stack Exchange members, particularly on sites like Photo-SE, where uploaded images are often members' creative work, not merely illustrations of a technical problem.
Images displayed on "Stack Exchange" sites are stored on Imgur. I looked at Imgur with a view to using it for other purposes. To me their conditions of use seem to state that by using their service you are assigning them free perpetual non exclusive rights to use your images in any way they wish, including full commercial use directly or as derivates.
You grant Imgur a non-exclusive, royalty- free, perpetual, irrevocable worldwide license (with sublicense and assignment rights) to use, to display online and in any present or future media, to create derivative works of, to allow downloads of, and/or distribute any file or other content you upload to our servers.
i.e., by uploading the file you sign your rights away.
They do NOT qualify this by saying anything like "in accordance with the use of this site as an image sharing service" etc. The rights granted are clearly stated as being unrestricted.
What they ACTUALLY do at present will be of interest BUT even if benign it is no safeguard. An agreement such as this allows them to build an immense free image base which would be financially attractive to some later buyer.
Update: somebody asked Imgur, and they replied:
Although we don't sell the images or grant usage for them at all, it is in the terms that we have the right to do so. If you delete your image, we no longer have the right, so it is perpetual for the duration of its time on our website.
I hope that helps.
Best, Sarah Schaaf
Director of Communications, Imgur
Does Stack Exchange mean for this to apply to uploaded images? How does this interact with the CC-BY-SA content license, which seems in conflict with these terms? Can someone please officially clarify?