How many times a day do you scroll your Instagram feed? Hard to count, right? You may find something that catches your attention: your pictures being stolen! From now on, if you see someone using your photo on Instagram, please let us know about it as soon as you can. Your image copyright needs to be protected – this is your basic right. How to see if pictures are stolen?
This article was originally published on July 8, 2019
Nowadays, social media provide us with endless, massive amounts of content. There is a lot of people working in the media industry to make sure there is always fresh articles, images and videos waiting to keep you company. When you wake up and before you go to bed, while on a bus, during your coffee break and simply whenever you are up for it. Doing research, digging for interesting topics, working on visual content can all be fun, but there is a set of rules to be followed before publication. Our experience shows that a lot of content creators forget about image copyrights. It often happens that they use copyrighted photos without photographers’ permission. Your images copyright can be violated without you knowing about it. That is why picture tracking is important.
Instagram is not anymore a medium used just by teenagers to share fun pictures from the party or show everyone what they had for breakfast this morning. Today Instagram can fulfil various purposes. It can be used as a business and promotional tool or help in sharing views and opinions. In the 21st century, it is the place to be. Celebrities know so. What they do not know sometimes is how to handle images copyright. It has happened to big names such as Drake and Taylor Swift to reach the first sites of newspapers for using stolen photos.
While searching for inspiration and checking out your friends’ latest activity, at the same time you can make sure your pictures are not getting stolen. Check out the hashtags you usually add to your pictures, and see what images will pop up. Hopefully, none of them will look familiar.
Our clients’ experience taught us that using pictures without the photographer’s consent while tagging them in their posts is not an uncommon practise for some companies. They probably treat the tag as an alternative to obtaining picture copyright. According to copyright law, this is not enough.
If the photo was used without your consent, even if your name is mentioned in the description under the picture, it is still classified as image theft. Your copyrighted images cannot be used by third parties without your clear consent. To make sure copyright pictures are used lawfully, it is best to have a written agreement or a contract signed by both parties.
You may hear a lot of unjustified arguments, like: “I found it online, so I thought I could use it for free” or “I found it on Google, everything from there can be shared and reused.” Do not let others decided about the copyright of your images.
When you discover the copyright of your image was violated, the best you can do is to protect the evidence right away. Take a screenshot, save it and seek assistance. Claiming the rights from stolen pics on your own is usually very difficult, time-consuming and nerve-wracking. We already experienced that a couple of years ago when Nico Trinkhaus, the travel photographer and founder of PhotoClaim, came across his photos being stolen. Soon he realised the greater need for protecting pictures and this is how the idea for PhotoClaim was born.
As soon as we receive the news about your copyright violation, we will do our best to get you back the money you deserve.
Thanks to our cooperation with RightsPilot, we can secure the evidence before it disappears. Sometimes it happens that infringers get warned, even by the creators of the images that got stolen. While we understand your need for immediate reaction, we strongly recommend you to put your emotions aside and focus trust our tested, effective practices. All you have to do is to make sure you do not warn the infringers. Instead: send us a message with your findings. We will take care of the rest for you.
While exploring the vast ocean of the Internet and searching for cases, we monitor various platforms and different sources for copyright infringements. We are constantly working on developing and expanding our reach to better protect more photos. Unfortunately, Instagram is not indexed in Google, hence our app can’t detect any copyright infringements there. As soon as this changes, we will make sure to let you know. Hop to the next paragraph to find out how we can improve image protection with a little help from your side.
As soon as you find your pictures being used by someone else on Insta, please send us what you spotted. A screenshot of your stolen image and the thief’s username on Instagram should do. Of course, the more information about the infringer, the better. The right information can be very helpful for effective photoprotection.
To reach us, you can directly contact your Case Manager. You can also simply share the post with a direct message to our Instagram account @photoclaim_official if that is more convenient for you. We’ll pass it on to your Case Manager. If you do not have one assigned yet, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you with further details. Make sure you act quickly before the proof disappears. The sooner we start, the greater the chance for winning what you deserve from the copyright of your images.
Instagram also provides its users with an option to report infringements in case your copyrighted photos are used by someone else without your consent. They offer two options: you can report it directly to them by filling out a form or contact a designated agent under the notice and counter-notice procedures of the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Google also offers such a possibility whenever image copyrights laws are abused. We analysed if such procedures can be successful and it is not always the case. Trying to claim your rights from the pictures stolen on Instagram that way would also involve some more engagement from your side. You would need to keep an eye on this matter. At PhotoClaim we do it differently. Once you send us a message concerning your stolen photo, we will proceed with further steps on our own. Instagram and Goole receive a great number of such claims every single day while we only work for the community of our clients. If you are not yet our client, once you sign up, we will not only try to get back the money from the reported infringement you found but also scan your portfolio and find out if there are more pictures for you to protect. We already have a long list of cases that our clients brought us from Instagram. As much as we love Instagram for all the inspiring and beautiful pictures, we also have to keep a close eye on it. Anyone can use it, but not everyone knows how to do it in line with image copyright laws.
Since Instagram is becoming a more and more popular platform to share pictures, we would like to ask you to keep a sharp eye on it. You are probably checking it every day anyway, aren’t you? There might be both inspirations and your stolen pictures waiting to be found. According to our predictions, since the platform is gaining more and more popularity the number of infringements on Instagram will grow. We also would like to ensure you that we will keep working on improving our monitoring options to provide you with the best service available, and strive to not to miss a single opportunity to get back the money that you deserve from your copyrights!
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