Do you know how to report copyright infringement on Instagram?

In the vibrant, visual world of Instagram, images, videos, and music come alive, narrating a myriad of tales.

But what happens when your unique story, your original content, gets shared without your permission?

As digital creators and consumers, understanding our rights and responsibilities is pivotal. Copyright infringement is a concern that shadows many in the online realm.

If you’ve been wondering how to navigate these waters on Instagram, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive deep into the process of reporting  infringements on the platform, ensuring that creativity thrives with respect and integrity.

Copyright Protection on Instagram

In the fast-paced, scrolling world of Instagram, thousands of photos, videos, and stories are uploaded every minute.

This visual platform thrives on creativity, but just as it facilitates the sharing of content, it also runs into the inevitable challenges of  protection.

Understanding the contours of copyright on Instagram is crucial for both content creators and consumers. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Inherent Copyright Protection: As soon as an original piece of work is created and fixed in a tangible medium (like a photo taken on your phone or a video captured on camera), it is automatically protected by trademark.

This means the creator has exclusive rights to that work, whether it’s a photo, video, or even a caption.

2. Instagram’s Terms of Service: When you sign up for Instagram, you agree to its terms of service.

While you retain the trademark to your content, you grant Instagram a license to use it, but this doesn’t give other users the right to use your content without permission.

3. Reporting Copyright Infringement: If someone uses your copyrighted content on Instagram without permission, you have the right to report it.

Instagram has a process for submitting copyright infringement reports, ensuring that valid complaints result in the removal of the infringing content.

4. User Responsibilities: Before reposting someone else’s content, it’s essential to obtain permission.

Merely tagging or crediting the original creator doesn’t absolve you from potential copyright infringement.

5. Fair Use Consideration: “Fair use” is a doctrine in U.S. trademark law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes like criticism, comment, news reporting, education, and research.

However, fair use is complex, and what one person considers fair use might be seen as infringement by another.

6. Recurring Issues and Solutions: Many Instagram users experience unauthorised reposts or use of their content. To safeguard against this:

  • Use watermarks or branding.
  • Include a copyright notice in your profile or posts.
  • Educate your followers about respecting copyright.
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7. Licensed Content and Collaborations: Many creators collaborate or use licensed content, such as music tracks. Always ensure you have the appropriate rights or licenses to avoid copyright issues, especially with Instagram’s automated content detection systems.

Copyright Policies on Instagram

Instagram, a haven for content creators ranging from photographers to musicians, is a space defined by creativity.

With the vast amount of content uploaded every day, it’s imperative that the platform has robust policies in place to safeguard intellectual property rights.

Let’s unpack the essence of Instagram’s copyright policies to ensure we tread its digital pathways informed and respectful of all creators.

User Agreement: When users sign up for Instagram, they agree not to post anything that violates someone else’s rights, including copyright.

While users retain copyright over their original content, they grant Instagram a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of their content.

Reporting Mechanisms: Instagram provides tools for copyright holders to report potential infringements.

If someone reposts your photo, video, or even uses a music track you own, you can file a complaint, and Instagram will review the claim.

Content Removal and Disputes: Upon receiving a valid copyright complaint, Instagram typically removes the content in question.

However, users who believe their content was wrongly removed can submit a counter-notification. Repeat infringements might result in account suspension or termination.

Shared Responsibility: Instagram’s policy emphasises shared responsibility. While the platform provides tools for reporting and educates users on copyright, it’s also the responsibility of users to seek permissions, give credit, and avoid using copyrighted content without authorisation.

Music in Stories and Live: Instagram has licensing agreements with various music publishers, allowing users to add tracks to their Stories or Live broadcasts.

However, there are restrictions, and not all tracks are available for all types of content or in all regions.

Automated Detection: To curb copyright violations, Instagram uses automated systems to detect and block content that may violate copyright policies.

This is especially prevalent with music, where unauthorised tracks might be muted or result in the video being blocked.

Fair Use and User Content: While the principle of “fair use” might allow certain uses of copyrighted material (for commentary, criticism, or education), Instagram’s automated systems don’t always recognise these nuances.

It’s crucial to be cautious and, when in doubt, avoid using content you didn’t create.

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Related: How to Avoid Copyright on Instagram?

How to Report Copyright Infringement on Instagram?

With the daily flood of images, videos, and stories on Instagram, it’s unsurprising that copyright infringements can occur.

Whether it’s a reproduced image without credit or unauthorised use of music, knowing how to address these infringements is vital.

If you believe your copyrighted work has been used on Instagram without your permission, here’s how to report it:

1. Access Instagram’s Copyright Report Form:

  • Start by navigating to Instagram’s Help Center or simply search for “Instagram Copyright Report Form” on your preferred search engine.

2. Identify Your Role:

  • The form will ask if you’re the rights owner or authorised to report on their behalf. Select the appropriate option.

3. Provide Details about the Infringed Content:

  • For images or videos: You’ll need to provide direct links (URLs) to the alleged infringing content on Instagram.
  • For other content types: The process might vary slightly, but you’ll generally need to provide evidence of the infringement.

4. Offer Proof of Your Original Content:

  • Share links or upload files that demonstrate your ownership of the copyrighted material. This could be a link to your website where the original content is posted or a cloud storage link showing the original file.

5. Fill Out Your Contact Information:

  • Provide your full name, email, mailing address, and phone number. Ensure these details are accurate as Instagram may need to reach out for further information or clarifications.

6. Understand the Declaration: Before submitting, you’ll be asked to acknowledge that:

  • You’re providing accurate information.
  • You’re the copyright owner or authorised to act on their behalf.
  • Under penalty of perjury, the information you’re submitting is accurate.
  • Misrepresentations can lead to account termination or legal consequences.

7. Submit the Form: Once you’ve completed all sections of the form, submit it. Instagram will typically send an email acknowledgment of your submission.

8. Await Instagram’s Response: Instagram reviews the report, and if they determine that the content infringes on copyright, they will take appropriate action, which could include removing the content or disabling the offending account. You will generally receive a notification regarding the action taken.

9. Address Counter-Notifications: If the user who posted the infringing content believes it was wrongly removed, they can submit a counter-notification. If this happens, you might be contacted and provided with further steps.


In the vast, interconnected realm of Instagram, where creativity flows seamlessly, safeguarding intellectual property becomes paramount.

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Reporting copyright infringements is more than just a procedural action; it’s a testament to the platform’s commitment to honor and respect creators.

By understanding and participating in this process, users ensure that Instagram remains a space where creativity is celebrated, originality is championed, and rights are respected.

As we embrace the digital age, it’s these collective efforts that help maintain a harmonious balance between sharing and protecting.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q: What can I do if someone is using my copyrighted photo or video on Instagram without my permission?

A: You can report copyright infringement on Instagram. Use the Copyright Report Form to provide details about the infringement, evidence of your ownership, and contact information.

Instagram will review your report and take appropriate action.

2. Q: What happens after I submit a copyright infringement report on Instagram?

A: Instagram will review your report and assess whether there’s a valid copyright infringement claim.

If they determine that the content infringes on your copyright, they will take appropriate action, which may include removing the content or disabling the infringing account.

3. Q: Can I report copyright infringement for music used in videos on Instagram?

A: Yes, you can report copyright infringement for music used without permission.

Use the Copyright Report Form and provide details about the infringing content, evidence of your ownership or rights, and contact information.

4. Q: Is it possible to report copyright infringement on behalf of someone else, like a friend or client?

A: Yes, you can report copyright infringement on behalf of someone else if you have the authority to act on their behalf.

Ensure you select the appropriate option in the Copyright Report Form and provide accurate information.

5. Q: What should I do if my content was removed due to a copyright infringement report, but I believe it was a mistake?

A: If your content was removed and you believe it was done in error, you can submit a counter-notification.

Instagram will review it, and if they find it valid, they may reinstate your content. Be prepared to provide evidence that you have the right to use the content in question.