How to Prevent Copyright Infringement on Instagram

A copyright is an intellectual property that belongs exclusively to the creator of an original piece of work in music, art, pictures, and films. In some instances, an organization owns copyrighted content that its employees create; an individual cannot claim it. Copyright laws forbid people from using content without the owner’s authorization. Notably, you cannot copyright ideas. Copyrights only work on how one expresses a concept.

Can You Copyright Instagram Posts?

On Instagram, copyright laws apply to pictures, audio, video, and written content. Users have exclusive rights to their original content. Another user cannot distribute, reproduce, and licence content without permission from an original creator.

Nonetheless, Instagram’s terms of use ask you to waiver your privileges to the social media platform once you post content. When you sign up for an Instagram account and agree to their service terms, you allow Instagram to sublicence, share, and post your content without your approval.

For instance, in 2020, A US district court ruled in favor of Mashable Magazine after the company cited Instagram issued a sublicensed for a user’s photo and allowed them to embed it in their article. The plaintiff, Stephanie Sinclair, argued that Mashable had no consent to publish her work despite their efforts to seek her approval. She declined Mashable’s licence deal and later demanded compensation after the article went to press. She sued the magazine and lost the case.

Basic Instagram Copyright Rules

Instagram reprimands content creators who infringe on intellectual property. The social media platform requires users to seek consent from a creator before they post his content, preferably in a written format like licences. If you use the content as is, give credit to the original creator or copyright holder and issue a disclaimer that you did not infringe any copyrights. Royalty-free music is also a great alternative to original tracks on Instagram posts.

One must check if a creator has copyrighted his content before hitting the post button. You cannot copyright common content creation styles and slogans. Unique executions of work such as paintings are eligible. In some cases, copyright laws can stifle creativity unfairly. Fortunately, Instagram has a fair use clause that allows people to creatively use original content for parody, commentary, education, satire, news, and criticism. This exception varies depending on regional copyright laws.

How to Avoid Getting Copyright Strikes on Instagram

Create your content

Although this is an expensive option, creating your content gives you leeway to use as you wish. If you want to copyright your Instagram content, the platform recommends adding a little creativity to your work to set yourself apart. Most Instagram copyright infringers steal quality content to grow their accounts. You can buy Instagram likes or use other safe tactics to improve your profile.

Modify original content

Make changes to the authentic content and add a twist to it. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to ask for permission from a person to share his work. If a customer posted a glowing review of your service and you want to show it to potential clients, ask for approval and credit him in your post. Ensure the communication is written and keep it in your records. Apps like Repost also attribute the content’s original owner readily.

Use copyright-free content

Stock photos are an excellent alternative since they are less time-consuming and copyright-free. Platforms such as Flickr and Creative Commons have large databases of stock photos. You can choose between buying stock pictures or crediting their creators if you prefer free ones.


How to Handle Copyright Infringement on Instagram

Use an Instagram Copyright Report form to file infringement claims. The form asks for details like a link to your original content and the work you want to report. Instagram removes material that infringes copyright laws. Experts advise businesses and big corporations to use a copyright lawyer because such claims may result in legal liabilities. The lawyer also offers a permanent solution to your copyright woes because Instagram only suspends a copyright infringer. A cease and desist letter that details the probability of litigation often works like a charm.


Copyright infringement is a growing concern on Instagram. The social media platform has guidelines on its official site that one can follow to avoid infringement strikes. Strategies like a cease and desist letter can stop copyright infringers from stealing your original work.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *