Instagram for a marketer: what to do if Instagram photos are stolen and how it can affect the company’s reputation
Is someone else’s Instagram account stealing your photos? Do you want to write in support of Instagram and send a complaint, but do not know how? This article is for you.
It is not uncommon to see identical photos in two different Instagram accounts. It is unpleasant to see your media files in someone else’s profile. Moreover, if you run a company blog and post unique photographs of your own product, theft and distribution of your content can have a negative impact on the further development of your business.
This begs the question, what to do if your Instagram photo is stolen? Read on.
First, let’s find out what constitutes content theft.
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What is meant by “content theft”
Content theft – copying and distributing other people’s media files, passing off third-party photos and videos as their own.
People who steal on Instagram gain an audience and make money on someone else’s content.
Important: adaptation and development of someone else’s idea, distribution of media with the consent of the author, indicating the source, are not considered theft.
Suppose it turns out that another profile is presenting your company’s photos as their own. How can this affect the reputation of the business?
Instagram Photos: How Content Theft Hinders Business Development
There are five things you shouldn’t leave unpunished for stealing your photos:
- Competitors take part of the audience. The authors of the blog carefully select the media, making up an attractive visual from them, and third-party personalities copy the content of the account, moving it to their own. The outcome is unpleasant: potential customers buy goods from deceivers, not from owners.
- A customer bought a poor quality product from a scammer, but shifts the blame onto your brand. Often, such accusations are made against companies whose media are stolen by counterfeit sellers. Thus, instead of a quality product, the customer gets a terrible thing. Customers have no idea that they have received a fake, so they get the impression that your company is producing low-quality products. This is a big blow to your reputation.
- The buyer has not received the product. As in the previous case, the scammers present your goods as their own, receive money from deceived customers and do not send them any products. Such situations damage the brand’s reputation even more.
- The value of your products goes down. How it works: People see identical photos (authored by your brand) in several profiles and conclude that the products are not unique, you can order such a product in almost any store. This is how you lose customers.
- People will think you are copying someone else’s content. Imagine a situation in which a person first saw a photo in a scammer’s account, and then found the same with you. The client is unlikely to try to find out who the content author is, so in their eyes you could turn into a scammer.
To avoid the unpleasant last one, we will explain how to act if your Instagram content is stolen.
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Instagram account steals content: what to do
Let’s look at three ways:
- Ask the author of the post to remove stolen content or to tag you in the post as a source of content.
- If the offender is unwilling to cooperate, file a complaint. To do this, contact Instagram support and, if the complaint is satisfied, the stolen content will be deleted.
- You can sue. This option is only suitable if you or your business has been seriously affected by content theft and you need to recover compensation from the violator. Copyright litigation is a complex and time consuming endeavor, so we advise you to prepare well and consider this decision.
Instagram: how to file a complaint for copyright infringement
If you notice content theft, it’s worth filing a complaint on social media. Open the form for filing complaints on Instagram, or go to someone else’s post with your photo and click on three dots, then select “Complain”.
Next, you will need to navigate through the sections in the following order: “This is inappropriate content” → “Intellectual property infringement” → “Complain in the Help Center.
You will then be taken to the Help Center, where you will be presented with links to several complaint forms. Select “copyright complaint” or “trademark infringement complaint”, depending on the type of violation.
Please note that Instagram support only considers complaints from content authors or their legal representatives. As practice shows, complaints from other users do not give any results.
Instagram support: how to fill out a copyright form
Check “I have discovered content that infringes on my copyright.” You will be given a summary of what false testimony can lead to, so file a complaint if there is an objective reason.
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Next, leave the contact details by which you can be contacted, and answer the question who owns the copyright: you, your client, or “Someone else.” Each of these cases offers its own form for submitting data.
However, if you select “Someone else”, the form will disappear and the Instagram management will offer to notify the copyright holder of the violation, so that he can file a complaint on his own.
If you are the copyright holder, then you will need to provide the following data: name, job responsibilities, postal address, phone number, email address. mail, mail, name of the copyright holder and country. The business representative needs to add how it relates to the copyright holder.
In the “Content you want to report” section, specify the type of media (photos or videos) and attach links to them.
In the “Why are you reporting this content?” click on “This content copies my work”.
Then share your proof that you are the content author. In the question “Which of the following best describes your original copyrighted work?” you need to specify the type of content, check the one that suits you.
Then attach links to the original content, for example, a photo in your account. If you published it earlier than the scammer, this will already be an exhaustive argument. If you wish, you can leave links to other pages confirming your involvement in the content, as well as a scan of the contract with the photographer, if the photographs were taken by a professional – this will help resolve the situation.
Confirm the complaint and click Submit. You will receive a notification by e-mail that the application has been sent for consideration.
If within 24 hours the violator does not provide evidence proving his innocence, the publication is deleted. In cases where the fraudster still provided satisfactory evidence and Instagram rejected the complaint, you can go to court. However, this is often unnecessary and everything is fine.
Remember that a single complaint about a specific post may not solve the problem. Some users may continue to violate copyright even after a one-time complaint. Therefore, we recommend blocking the offender’s account. To do this, file several complaints about posts at once and include links to publications in them.
When you can ignore content theft
There are cases when it is easier to close your eyes and not waste time on the proceedings. For example, if you are listed as the author of a photo or content, then you have received free advertising, which will never be superfluous.
If you notice your content on another account with a small audience, again, do not pay attention, as this will not cause any tangible harm. Also, do not waste time dealing with accounts that are not competitors.
Complaint on Instagram: what to do if a complaint has been filed against you
Sometimes it can happen that you violate copyright by using someone else’s content, for example, by accident. So, after people complain about you, you can delete the post yourself within 24 hours, then Instagram will not block your account.
If the complaint is more serious, you should contact the content author and try to negotiate. For example, you can suggest attribution under posts, or voluntarily remove content.
It is worth not leaving content theft unpunished, so as not to worsen the reputation of your own brand. To do this, you can file a complaint on Instagram and use our instructions.
Be serious about your own posts, so you don’t accidentally become a violator.
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We were happy to share detailed instructions. If you have reached the end, but did not receive answers to all questions, or want to share your thoughts, we invite you to leave a comment below so that the author of the article can answer you personally.
Author: Exiterra.com Digital Agency