Copyright is always an issue than one posting on social media should be careful of and pay attention at. Due to the fact that Instagram doesn’t include the ability to regram directly within the app, many people have feared that this practice of sharing other people’s content is actually a violation of the Instagram terms of service (TOS).
Moreover, there was a statement published some time ago that was saying that in the Instagram's terms of service sharing content other than your own was a violation of the platform’s terms. Therefore, regramming was a violation.
But, according to socialmediaexaminer.com, Instagram has updated their TOS to state that you’re responsible for any content you post on Instagram. Sections 7 and 8 speak directly to the types of content you’re responsible for. And one can read the most current version of Instagram’s terms here.
So what are the steps that somebody must take in order to make sure they are not breaking any laws or rules?
- Get permission from the owner to share his / her content. You can do that either by commenting on their post letting them know that you want to share their photo or video with your audience. Then you can ask if you can have their permission to repost it. You can also send the user a Direct Message asking the same thing. Once they give you response in writing, giving you permission to repost the picture, then you’d be allowed to repost the picture. If they don’t respond, don’t use it. Asking is not enough. You need actual consent.
Still according to socialmediaexaminer.com, there are two types of consent: implied and explicit. Implied consent is when users post content with the expectation that it may be regrammed (when the company or the brand has a running campaign with a certain hashtag that wishes it will bring along the wished target and, at the same time, is looking to engage them and make them share the info and get other people involved as well). Explicit consent is when the original content creator gives you direct permission to repost their content on your Instagram account.
2. Get attribution to the original user. Don't forget to credit the person or the brand you are getting your information from.
3. Use the Repost for the Instagram app. Available for both iphone and android devices, repost for Instagram makes it easy to #Repost your favorite photos and videos on Instagram while giving credit to the original Instagramer. The benefit of using this app is that it will add a watermark to the image with the original post creator’s Instagram username. This makes it clear that the content is regrammed and provides attribution to the original creator.
4. There are now also a variety of platforms and services designed for brands to ask users if they can use their content. According to Debbie Miller, on her article on agorapulse.com, one example is a Content Rights Solution designed by TINT who creates a variety of social display tools. "The solution allows you to discover content relating to your brand, request the proper permissions from the author of the image via social media, and track which images to which you have rights," explained Miller.
More on how to protect yourself legally you can read here.