heic to jpg and the cost of free

2020-03-13

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~4 min read

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651 words

Update: Ramesh over at FreeConvert.com found this post and reached out as a possible alternative to Beamr. I took a look and it seems like they offer a comparable service, but with a more consumer friendly Terms of Service (also credit to Ramesh and the team for both the readability of their ToS and responsiveness to feedback!) Definitely check out FreeConvert.com if you need to convert your HEIC to JPEG (or any of the other conversions they offer).

From their ToS as it relates to file ownership and privacy:

File ownership and privacy

When you use our Services, you provide us with Your Files. Your Files are yours. These Terms don’t give us any rights to Your Files except for the limited rights that enable us to offer the Services.

We need your permission to do things like converting Your Files and temporarily storing them (via a private URL that is only available to you for downloading the converted file). To convert and deliver converted files, we need to access and store Your Files. You give us permission to do those things. Please also note than we automatically remove Your Files from our servers within 6 hours of conversion.

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. My 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


Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!