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Instagram Image Copyrights Class Action Lawsuit 2021

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Instagram Image Copyrights Class Action Lawsuit 2021 – Selling Users’ Images Without Permission?

Instagram Failed To Protect Users’ Copyrights To Profit From Third-Party Players – Class Action

Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram is in hot water after a duo of photojournalists filed a class action lawsuit against them for allegedly violating their copyright exclusive rights and protections. 

Photos Used Without Copyright License

Plaintiffs Matthew Scott Brauer and Alexis Huntley filed suit against Instagram in a California federal court, setting forward allegations that the social media platform has grossly violated their copyright claims on their content. 

The two continued that the company let third-party players usurp their exclusive copyright protections via the embed tool.

Instagram’s lenience in allowing other individuals and entities to publish users’ content without their prior consent and presence of a certified copyright license. The embed tool in question is a feature used by different site owners and managers to easily copy and integrate any content on the photo-sharing social media platform.   

The pair shared that they shared their photo content on Instagram, believing that Instagram and its managers would value and protect their guaranteed copyright privileges surrounding their photo works. 

However, both Brauer and Hunley’s photographic work have been used by third-party media suites without obtaining a license and their express permission to do so. 

This was allegedly done and allowed by Instagram’s management in order to allow third-party entities to use user content and make money out of it via advertising profits and web traffic revenues. 

Instagram Failed Their Duty To Users

Furthermore, they contended that the company has duped users into believing that their exclusive copyright protections would be upheld by the company the moment they signed up for their service.

This created a situation wherein users who upload their unique and exclusive content in the platform to which other companies are open to using them via the site’s embed tool without obtaining a copyright license before proceeding. 

This runs in contrast with Instagram’s earlier pronouncements that companies are indeed required to obtain a copyright license first before being permitted to use and integrate user content on their respective platforms and sites. 

The Instagram Image Copyright Class Action Lawsuit filed by the pair is asking the court to allow the formation of a Class that would include Instagram users whose copyright-protected photos were used by different companies via the embed tool without obtaining a license beforehand.

The social media platform is also involved in a different legal action wherein the company is accused of illegally hoarding and storing their users’ personal biometric data without their prior express permission. 

About Instagram

Founded in 2010, Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform known for its different filter features and the like available to every user. Social media giant Facebook acquired the company two years after its founding for the sum of approximately $1 billion, both in cash and stock. The company’s mobile application is widely popular and is said to have tallied more than a billion users as of 2020. 

Editor’s Note on Instagram Image Copyrights Class Action Lawsuit 2021: 

This feature article aims to inform you of the latest class action filed against Instagram concerning allegations that it allowed third party entities to use supposedly protected content in the name of making monetary gains. 

Case Name(s) & No.: Huntley et al. v. Instagram LLC, Case No. 3:21-cv-03778

Jurisdiction: United States District Court for the Northern District of California 

Products/Services Involved: Instagram’s embed feature

Allegation(s): The embed feature offered by Instagram allowed unauthorized third parties to use copyright-protected user content without obtaining permission and the proper licenses. 

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