Copyrighted obs include text saying they will not be shared with data repositories that respect licenses, this cannot be correct

No, there are separate licenses for photos, media, and observations. If you go to your Profile and “Content and Display” you will see three separate licenses that you can select. The export of the observation data itself is what is affected by the observation license. An observation with a permissive license will still be exported to GBIF even if the photos have a more restrictive license. Photos are not exported to GBIF. There are other threads, including the one @pisum posted above that go over some of this info.

Here’s another on the forum:
This is a good overview:
The ToS contains relevant info:
Some sections of the Help address licensing:
This is a nice journal post overview:

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