Home News Copyright Lawsuit Against Instagram Over Embedded Photos Dismissed

Copyright Lawsuit Against Instagram Over Embedded Photos Dismissed

by admin
Instagram DM spam.

A three-member panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Meta’s Instagram in a copyright infringement case brought forward by two photographers, according to a Gizmodo report. The photographers claimed that Instagram allowed external websites and publications to embed their images without their explicit approval, which they alleged violated copyright laws.

The case has its roots in 2016 when Time used an Instagram photo of Hillary Clinton taken by Matthew Brauer without securing his permission. In a similar event in 2020, Buzzfeed embedded an Instagram photo captured by Alexis Hunley at a Black Lives Matter protest. Both photographers sued Instagram, claiming that the company didn’t require third parties to get a license for embedding copyrighted photos or videos, exposing them to allegations of secondary infringement.

Initially filed in California in 2021, the lawsuit was dismissed as the judge ruled that the media outlets involved did not store the original image or show a copy of it, but were merely showing content already accessible via Instagram’s embedding feature. The photographers appealed against this decision, which has now been upheld in federal court. The judges echoed the earlier verdict, stating that embedding a photo or video doesn’t create a copy of the original content.

Despite the ruling, the judges did acknowledge that Hunley and Brauer presented “serious and well-argued” points about the ability of copyright owners to control and monetize their work. Instagram has since taken steps to address this issue, introducing an option in 2021 that enables users to prevent their images from being embedded, a change prompted by lobbying from the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA).

Reuters reports that the photographers could appeal for a rehearing with a panel of 11 randomly-selected judges, though no statements regarding this possibility have been made by Hunley or Brauer.

The implications of the court’s decision are significant; it suggests that third parties, such as media outlets, can freely embed photos and videos without seeking the content creator’s permission. Nevertheless, a string of related cases with different outcomes may eventually lead to a showdown in a higher court.

One such case in 2018 saw a New York judge rule in favor of a photographer who sued several publications for embedding tweets containing his original photo of NFL legend Tom Brady. The judge in that case argued that the use of a third-party server to host the image didn’t exempt them from copyright infringement.

BuyTechBlog’s editorial team selects all recommended products independently of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we might earn an affiliate commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publication.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Instagram copyright lawsuit

Who filed the lawsuit against Instagram?

Photographers Matthew Brauer and Alexis Hunley filed the lawsuit against Instagram, alleging that the social media platform had infringed their copyright by allowing third parties to embed their photos without explicit consent.

What was the basis of the lawsuit against Instagram?

The lawsuit claimed that Instagram allowed external websites and publications to embed images without the explicit consent of the content creators, thereby violating copyright laws.

What was the final verdict of the lawsuit?

A three-member panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Instagram. The judges stated that when a photo or video is embedded, no copy is made of the underlying content, hence no copyright laws were broken.

Has Instagram taken any measures following the lawsuit?

Yes, Instagram introduced an option in 2021 that allows users to make their images unembeddable. This change was a response to concerns raised by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA).

What are the wider implications of this court decision?

The ruling indicates that third parties, such as media outlets, can freely embed photos and videos from Instagram without seeking permission from the content creator. However, other related cases with differing outcomes suggest the issue may ultimately be decided by a higher court.

More about Instagram copyright lawsuit

You may also like

5 comments

TechFan2023 July 20, 2023 - 7:25 am

It’s about time Instagram added the unembed feature, should’ve done it years ago imho.

Reply
Photogirl93 July 20, 2023 - 8:11 am

This is why copyright laws are such a mess, they need a big overhaul!

Reply
LegalEagle101 July 20, 2023 - 11:04 am

interesting…while Instagram won this one, I bet we’ll see this in higher courts soon. diff rulings elsewhere suggest this isn’t over yet.

Reply
CameraGuy_Joe July 20, 2023 - 4:40 pm

Photographers always getting the short end of the stick. Not fair, we deserve respect for our work too!

Reply
Samuel_R July 20, 2023 - 9:48 pm

Whoa, Insta wins again! But why don’t they just ask for permission first before using other ppls work, not cool man.

Reply

Leave a Comment