Your Social Media Hashtags May Make You Legally Liable to Delta

Delta has updated their SkyMiles terms and conditions and under ‘program membership’ they now spell out how you could become legally liable to Delta for your hash tags.

User-Generated Social Media Image Rights

By tagging photos using #SkyMilesLife and/or #DeltaMedallionLife, user grants Delta Air Lines (and those they authorize) a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the submissions, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and promotion on Delta websites, commercial products and any other Delta channels, including but not limited to #SkyMilesLife or #DeltaMedallionLife publications.

User warrants and represents: (a) he/she is the sole and exclusive owner of the Submission, including all rights therein, and that the user has the full and exclusive right, power and authority to submit the Submission and to grant the Sponsor the rights to the Submission, including but not limited to the worldwide copyright; (b) no part of the Submission has been published or distributed; (c) the submission does not infringe on the rights of any other person, firm, corporation or entity, and (d) no rights in the Submission have been previously granted to any person, firm, corporation or other entity. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any Submission at any time in the event it is determined that the Submission is offensive, inappropriate, not in keeping with Sponsor’s image or if it is determined that the user has not otherwise complied with these Official Rules.

By tagging photos using #SkyMilesLife and/or #DeltaMedallionLife, user agrees to indemnify, defend, release and hold the Sponsor and their respective officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, “Released Parties”) harmless from and against any and all losses, demands, damages, rights, claims, actions and liabilities of any kind (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and legal costs) arising out of or related to (a) user’s participation in the campaign or violating these terms or (b) any claims of infringement related to the Sponsor’s use of the Submission submitted to Sponsor in connection with the campaign.

Delta reserves the right to use or not use content tagged #Skymileslife and/or #DeltaMedallionLife and user will not be entitled to compensation if photo is used.

If you use the hash tags #SkyMilesLife or #DeltaMedallionLife and someone makes a claim against Delta because you use an image that they claim the rights to you are on the hook for Delta’s attorneys fees to defend against the claim even if the image is really yours.

You are indemnifying them against “all losses, demands, damages, rights, claims, actions and liabilities of any kind” so be careful how you tag Delta in social media!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] This one is so #KeepDescending worthy I do not even believe it myself. Delta has, cuz I guess they can, stated that if you, on social media, use the tag #SkyMilesLife or #DeltaMedallionLife and they get sued they can sue you to get money. I am no attorney but as I have said over and over: Delta is not really an airline after all, they are a southern law firm that happens to fly a lot of jets. Readers in the legal world – can they really get away with this one? […]


  1. Good job Delta Marketing. Social media is the way people live these days. This just makes us love you even more #not

  2. Note that in many jurisdictions, the appearance of buildings may be copyrighted. A picture you take that has the Eiffel Tower in the background is a deriviative work, and you do *not* have the rights that Delta insists your simple hashtag warrants. This provision says that Delta can go ahead and use the photo commercially, and when the building owner sues them for violating the building exterior copyriht, Delta can win a lawsuit against you for whatever they settle that lawsuit for, and Delta’s costs in reaching that settlement.

  3. @Randy – So are you saying we should tag every photo with #SkyMilesLife (and #PhuckDelta, I like that one on general principle)?

  4. The U.S.’s copyright laws are woefully out of date in today’s world. There are even services available online that take this sort of techno-lawyering into account as a form of profit-making.

  5. #FuckSkyMilesLife and/or #FuckDeltaMedallionLife. When they screw up we’re liable? Yeah right! Again, please remind me what the value of a frequent flyer status is when airlines treat you like crap?

  6. What benefit do people get from using those hashtags?

    I strongly suspect that the indemnification provision is unenforceable.

  7. So these terms are in the skymiles terms and conditions? What if you are not a sky miles member, are you free to use the hashtag and the sue delta if the reprint your image?

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