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HEIC To JPG And The Cost Of Free

August 29, 2019

Apple’s Live Photos are a fun way to add a little twist to photos you snap on your phone. Empowering this feature is a file format called HEIC — High-Efficiency Image Coding.1

Natively these images support animation, which is the feature Apple takes advantage of to create the “Live” part of Live Photos.

While I’m a fan, sometimes you just want the JPEG.

Enter a tool that does exactly that: HEIC to JPEG.2

I love the internet and the wonderful creative people of the world that populate it with amazing tools.

In todays’ world, it’s necessary to try to read Terms of Service. I’m not a lawyer, but this was the relevant clause to me from HEIC to JPEG:

5.2. Your Content. In the course of using the Service, you may provide content whether created by or for you, including but not limited to, graphics, images, files, photos, animation, artwork, text, data, information, scripts or other material information which may be used by Beamr in connection with the Service. You understand that by providing content, materials or information (including without limitation information relating to End Users) to Beamr or in connection with the Service (”Content”), Beamr hereby is and shall be granted a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty free, perpetual, irrevocable, sublicenseable and transferable right to use, process, store, copy, reproduce, reformat, translate, modify and create derivative works of your Content (including all related intellectual property rights) in connection with Beamr’s provision of the Service. For clarity, the foregoing license grant to Beamr does not affect your ownership of or right to grant additional licenses to the material in your Content. Beamr may use your Content internally for improving the Service. In addition, your content will be removed from Beamr’s systems within 48 hours from the time your Content was uploaded to the Service.

It appears like fairly standard legalese. The takeaways:

  1. I own my content (yay)
  2. Beamr has ownership over my content (boo)
  3. They have to use it within 48 hours because after that it’s deleted from their servers (?)

I’m not sure how 2 and 3 square with each other, but at least in the case of the photo I was working with, I feel comfortable making this trade off. None the less, it’s a good reminder that even free things often have a cost. It’s just not always obvious what it is.

The price tag may say $0, but it ain’t free. — DHH3

Footnotes


Stephen Weiss

Thanks for reading! My name's Stephen Weiss. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn.
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