How can I make sure the content I post to Instagram doesn't violate copyright law?

Under Instagram’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines you can only post content to Instagram that doesn’t violate someone else's intellectual property rights. The best way to help make sure that what you post to Instagram doesn’t violate copyright law is to only post content that you’ve created yourself.

It's possible to infringe someone else's copyright when you post their content on Instagram, even if you:

  • Bought or downloaded the content (example: a song from iTunes)
  • Recorded the content onto your own recording device (examples: a song playing in the background during a party, concert, sporting event, wedding, etc.)
  • Gave credit to the copyright owner
  • Included a disclaimer that you didn’t intend to infringe copyright
  • Didn’t intend to profit from it
  • Modified the work or added your own original material to it
  • Found the content available on the internet
  • Saw that others posted the same content as well
  • Think that the use is a fair use

Before you post content on Instagram, you may want to ask:

  • Did I create all of the content myself?
  • Do I have permission to use all of the content included in my post?
  • Does my use of the content fall within an exception to copyright infringement?
  • Is the content protected by copyright (for example, is it a short phrase, a concept or idea, or a work that has fallen into the public domain)?

It’s generally a good idea to get written permission from the author of the work before posting content on Instagram. You might be able to use someone else’s content on Instagram if you’ve gotten permission from them, such as through obtaining a license. You also may be able to use someone else's content if it's in the public domain, is covered by fair use, or there is another exception to copyright.

Learn more about copyright and what copyright laws protect.

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