December 12, 2019 By SnapSentry

It happens all the time. People love to snag Instagram photos and repost them as their own. The sad part is that the public has rebranded image theft into “sharing.”

Remember back in the day when folks would make a mix CD for a friend with songs downloaded from a pirating site. Just like music, Instagram photo theft has become acceptable behavior because lots of people do it. I guess the answer to the age-old question for far too many, is “Yes, Mom if everyone else jumps off the cliff, I will too.”

It’s not just the average user. Celebrities and companies are engaging in image theivery even though they should know better about copyright law and infringement. Here are five crazy but all too common examples of Instagram photo theft.

1.Did Drake Take Your Photos by Mistake?

Catch the rhyme? Jake Kivanc was at a surprise Drake and Future concert at his home school, Ryerson University in Toronto. He’s a hip-hop addict and was infatuated with the ambience. Adrenaline pumping in one hand and a free camera in the other, he couldn’t believe his chance to shoot one of his favorite artists.

Drake did a 20-minute set just enough time to give the crowd a few hits. Jake got six shots of the rapper doing his thing and posted them to Instagram. Later that night, Jake gets a message from his friend. “Bro, bro, bro… Drake just posted your stuff.” Late night turns to early morning. Jake’s not to bed at 3:40 AM, and there’s still no tag from the rapper.

Knowing 22 million pairs of eyeballs may have seen your picture was a mixed blessing. Jake’s photo got plenty exposure, but he could never get his message to Drake for a paycheck (which he didn’t expect) or even a proper nod.

2.When Bow Wow Steals Your Cash

What is it about rappers and showing off stacks of green?

Timothy Sykes, a photographer who stylishly shot bricks of cash might have a little more insight than the rest of us. Bow Wow, also known as Shad Moss, reposted the photographer’s images on Instagram with no tag to Timothy. It was a lame attempt to brag about cash. I’m sure the rapper has some greenbacks, so why not pony up the moola for Timothy’s work?

3. Vogue Spain Photo Theft Isn’t Fashionable

Sion Fullana caught Vogue Spain stealing not one but two of his photos. After the Spanish street photographer and New York resident blasted the magazine on Twitter, Vogue at least did the right thing. The magazine publicly apologized and paid Fullana for copyright infringement and image usage.

4. Mango Clothing Enjoying the Fruits of Others Labor

Swedish photographer Tuana Aziz was shocked to find a photo he posted back in 2011 was turned into a screen-printed T-shirt sold in the Mango Clothing retail store. The shirt was selling for £8.99. Once he made his complaint, the company stopped peddling the shirt but didn’t compensate the photographer.

5. Unlimited Greece and Limited Recognition

Unlimited Greece, a travel service, threw a commercial elbow to the gut of professional photographer Brendan Van Son. Instead of paying him for his work, they just outright used it in an Instagram ad. Then they shamelessly praised him for his photo as if he had entered a contest to have his work stolen. Brendan said, “Don’t congratulate me-pay me!” You can watch the video of him explaining the situation and what he did to fix it.

What Should You Do When Your Instagram Photos Are Stolen?

  1. Screenshot
    Let’s start with the evidence. A quick screenshot is the first step in building your case.

  2. Snoop
    Is this the random one-off person who doesn’t understand copyright infringement? Or is a celebrity or company with a large following trying to steal your work? What about monetization?

  3. Shout
    Okay, not literally. Give the person the benefit of the doubt. Based on what you think is best, ask the photo snagger for a tag, payment, or removal. Larger accounts may ignore you, so you may have to resort to email.

  4. Snitch
    Snitching can be a first or last resort. Instagram’s usually good about taking down photos. Users have reported it done within 24 hours. You can do that here.

Watermarks Protect Your Work on Instagram

When the next rapper, magazine, clothing line, travel agency, or even casual Instagrammer steals your work, you’ll be protected. In all these cases, a simple watermark would’ve been a first step in avoiding hassle. And it would have promoted the photographer’s brand and business at the same time.

Try our quick and easy free watermark software, SnapSentry, today.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a watermark?
    A watermark is a superimposed, transparent message on a picture or image (usually a signature, stamp, or logo).

  2. How to report photo on Instagram is stolen?
    Instagram’s usually good about taking down photos. Users have reported stolen Instagram pics taken down within 24 hours. You can do that here.

  3. How to protect my Instagram photos?
    Watermarking your photos is the first line of defense to protect your photos. It also doubles as a means to promote your business. Try our quick and easy free watermark software, SnapSentry, today.

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