Instagram can be an effective marketing tool for your business to promote your products and services to tech-savvy consumers. But as your account attracts more followers, the likelihood of individuals copying or ‘regramming’ your work without permission increases. Below, we look at what steps you can take to limit copyright infringement of your photos.

Submit a Copyright Takedown Notice

You can submit a copyright takedown notice whenever you come across an Instagram post reproducing your photo. Fill in the relevant form online and include:

  • a description of your infringed work, 
  • the URL of the post copying your work, 
  • a description of your infringed work, and 
  • the URL of the post copying your work. 

Instagram will then review your notice and take the infringing post down.

Remember that submitting a notice starts a legal process. If the other user argues that they have not infringed your copyright and files a counter-notice, their post will be restored to Instagram after 10-14 days.

It’s always a good idea to contact the person who has posted your content before submitting a takedown notice. They may have shared your photo without realising they had infringed your copyright, and be willing to take it down immediately.

Use the © symbol or #binded

Marking your photos with the © symbol and your name will tell viewers that you own the copyright in the work. Using the copyright symbol can act as a deterrent to potential misuse. It also reminds viewers that they’ll need your permission to reproduce your photos whether on Instagram or elsewhere (unless their use falls under a fair dealing exception).

Alternatively, you can use the hashtag #binded. Binded is a free technology platform that allows photographers to create a private account and upload their photos. A unique fingerprint is then generated for each image which serves as a permanent record that you owned the copyright. Once you have a Binded account, you can add “#binded” to any Instagram photos you want to protect. Any time your photo is reproduced on the internet – whether on Instagram or not – Binded will send you a notice and description of the infringement. You can then take appropriate action to remove the infringing copies.

Add a Watermark

Watermarking is a useful way of adding your brand or logo to your photos or embedding links to your professional website. If anyone copies your photo, the watermark will visually indicate you are the copyright owner and can provide a link back to your Instagram page or website. While Instagram currently has no tool enabling users to add a watermark to their photos, you can easily do it yourself using other apps or online programs.

Key Takeaways

Posting photos to Instagram can expose you to the risk of other people copying your work and infringing your copyright. Instagram’s tools for tackling copyright issues aren’t extensive, so it’s important you take your own precautions too. Marketing and publicity are always useful but think carefully about the number and quality of photos you post. If you need assistance protecting your photos on Instagram, get in touch with LegalVision’s intellectual property lawyers on 1300 544 755.

Vaishnavi Prakash
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