How does the Shutterfly production work

Does own my photos even after I delete them?


I'm not a lawyer but the terms of use say:

You retain ownership of such User Submitted Materials and grant us and our agents a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license with sub-license rights (across multiple levels) to use, reproduce, distribute (across multiple levels ), create derivative works of these user-submitted materials and display them publicly solely in connection with the making or provision of products or services that you request, or to show you how your user-submitted materials are used in our products or services would appear.

Important points:

  1. The grant is unlimited and irrevocable .
  2. With it you can do two things:
    1. "Produce or Provide" any product or service that you request, or
    2. Show what your materials would look like in their products.

A promotional email showing how your materials appear to be exactly the latest. It seems a little shoddy for them to do this with deleted pictures, but this is the first piece for you.

So you don't own your photos, but you gave them the right to do that particular thing forever.

From a privacy perspective, there is conscience Comfort, as the specific rights you have granted are limited to them to show , what your photos would look like. You have not authorized them to use the photos as examples for example other Individuals or the general public to use. There is still a risk of data breach or the like, but you still run that risk if you have digital artifacts on a system that is not powered off and in a safe on the ocean floor.

Noam Manos

Thanks for the late reply. I think this should put a red flag on all Shutterfly users as you can connect to your private photo storage (e.g. Google Photos) with a single click - Shutterfly has all of your life photos under control forever! No undo!

Noam Manos

^ Thanks for that detailed Answer I meant (auto misspelling).


It seems as if ... only in connection with the production or provision of a product or service requested by you ... is a very important expression here. As I read it, with your files they can only provide the service you requested and offer you other services.


@Caleb This is followed by or to show you how (your photos) would appear on products . Together these are the two things that I list in my answer as the things that they can do. I don't think ignoring the second is helpful, especially since it seems to be exactly the case here.


@mattdm I agree 100% with your answer and just wanted to highlight the caveat as the OP has privacy concerns. Sorry, I didn't realize that.

Noam Manos

Shutterfly customer service finally replied:

We did not save your pictures on Shutterfly. You have received the promotional email because the images are still displayed in the "My Shutterfly" area. This section was created before your pictures were deleted from your account. This section is only intended to show you how your images will appear on certain elements. There is no way to remove this section, but I can assure you that your images have been deleted. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, I can assist you in closing your Shutterfly account.

Peter M.

I I love that your pictures have been deleted, except that they haven't been deleted and you can't actually delete them