Does Instagram copyright photos?
Having complete control over your photos online is important, especially if you are trying to build a brand. One of the social media sites where this issue constantly appears is Instagram because the whole app is built on photos. But you already knew that.. DUH!
Here’s what you might not know– does Instagram copyright photos when you post them? Let’s find out.
Wait, before we begin, I’m NOT a lawyer. I just read things put out to the public and interpret them. I can’t take responsibility for any actions you take from reading this. Sound ok to you? Ok let’s start!
Does Instagram copyright photos?
Simply put, Instagram DOES NOT copyright your photos when you post them. You retain 100% ownership of them!
Is there anything Instagram can do with my photos?
Yes, they can use your photo however they want even though you still own it. By posting on Instagram, you give them “a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license” to use your photo or video for anything without your express permission because you already gave it to them!
What does this mean for other Instagram users and my photos?
The license you give to Instagram, the company, does not extend to any other Instagrammer. They cannot alter your photos, claim it as your own, and even, repost it.
They can only repost your photo with express permission, not when you use general hashtags like #travel or #fun.
Sometimes, companies and brands use specific hashtags for implied consent like “Tag #thisspecifichashtag to be featured on our account.” By using that hashtag, you agree to be featured on that account, which means they’ll be posting your photo at any point so there’s probably not going to have any legal battles following it.
Legally though, they should be getting your expression permission before posting so it could be considered copyright infringement even if you use their hashtag and you said outright say, “Yes. Repost it.”
Does that mean I can’t repost other peoples’ photos?
If others can’t repost your pictures that means you can’t repost theirs either, but of course, there are a ton of regram accounts out there so I looked into this paradoxical happening by reading a few different websites.
If you want to have a repost account, ALWAYS get the photographer’s express permission BEFORE reposting their photo. If for some reason you can’t, you should use a reposting app so that their username gets watermarked onto their image.
I’ll let Scrunch take over the regram etiquette. They do it better.
What do I do if an Instagrammer has used my photo?
Did that Instagrammer credit you?
Then it’s up to you to decide if you are ok with this. When an Instagrammer uses your photo and clearly credits you, then this could be good because you could get more followers.
However, I like having full control of where my photos go so I usually message a person to take my photo down and kindly thank them for featuring me.
Did that Instagrammer post your photo as theirs or not credit you clearly?
When someone uses a photo of mine without crediting me clearly like by tagging the photo or putting me in the first comment, not the caption, I ask them to take my photo down immediately and still thank them for liking my photo enough to use it.
I do the same if they posted my photo without a credit at all. It’s always good to be calm and professional. Some people are just not aware of copyright laws especially if they live in another country.
If they don’t update the photo with my credit clearly or don’t take it down, then read about Copyright Infringement on Instagram’s site and fill out their form to take the photo down and possibly get their account banned.
What about that guy who blew up photos of Instagram pictures, replaced the caption, and made $90,000 on each photo?
If you’re talking about Richard Prince, this is where it gets tricky. Instagram says if any copyright infringement happens within the app, they can help you out. If it’s outside of Instagram like at a Richard Prince art gallery, then you need to take this into your own hands.
What about reposting Instagram photos on a blog post?
Reposting someone’s Instagram photos on your own blog is ok when you EMBED it. Embedding is ok because you are not downloading and uploading it, and thus, there is no chance that it will mistakenly be noted as your photo.
Also, when you embed a photo, it is clear whose photos it is, and a reader can even click through the photo to follow that person on Instagram!
To embed a photo, go to Instagram on your desktop, click on the three dots on the bottom right, hit ‘Embed’, and copy and paste that script into your webpage. Here are screenshots and the result:
Westerpark looks like a fairytale land in some areas. If you’re going to Awakenings at the Gashouder, you’ll be entering/exiting right next to this beauty. It’s a sight to see when you’re leaving the show at 5-6AM and the glow of the morning sun starts to peek through the clouds. // want local tips about ADE? Check out my guide which includes things like what neighborhoods to hang out, the best way to get around and general travel tips. Link in bio! ❤️?#Amsterdam #ade #amsterdamdanceevent #awakenings #westerpark
What can I do to make my Instagram awesome?
Instagram says it great in their Community Guidelines.
“We want Instagram to continue to be an authentic and safe place for inspiration and expression. Help us foster this community. Post only your own photos and videos and always follow the law. Respect everyone on Instagram, don’t spam people or post nudity.”
If you’re curious about my Instagram, you can check it out here.
Feature image was provided by Canva in accordance with the proper Creative Commons License.