INSTAGRAM TERMS & CONDITIONS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. BY SEKONI-DAIRO RADIYAH

Do you use Instagram Probably. Do you post and share contents on Instagram? If yes, what right do you have on the contents you post? Can you share other people’s post/ contents without their permission?  Did you read the terms of use of Instagram? Probably not.                                                                                                                                           
Many people make use of the application called Instagram without trying to read the terms of use before agreeing to be on the app. It’s always advisable to review the terms of use for any app you’d like to use. Make sure you understand the impact of those terms not only on your behaviour on the app, but also on your content that you share there.
 Below is what Instagram say about their terms of use: 
“These Terms of Use govern your use of Instagram and provide information about the Instagram Service, outlined below. When you create an Instagram account or use Instagram, you agree to these terms.”  
This basically, means once you create an account you are agreeing to the terms of use of that application, so it’s better to know what those terms are!
When you post a content on Instagram there are some license you provide to them. These license are copyright license. They are titled PERMISSIONS YOU GIVE US under the Instagram terms of use.                                             Instagram claims that they do not claim ownership of your content, that you in turn grant them the license, which is true! Because the moment you sign up with them, it will bring a question, saying do you agree to the terms of use? and we all picked “agree” because our main target is to get on that app. We do not really care whatever license we are giving them. Another thing that will not make people read the Instagram terms of use is that, these terms are are confusing because the language used in writing them are complicated and the minimum age to sign up L is 13 but the reading age for terms are close L to 20/21.
According to the Instagram terms of use, they provided that “We do not claim ownership of your content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our L Service, you hereby grant to us 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 your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings)”.                                                             This paragraph clearly states that you own the photos, videos or content you post on your Instagram account. Instagram doesn’t become the owner of your posted content. Rather, you’re providing Instagram with a  non exclusive license to host your content. 
It is of essence to note that posting your pictures will not amount to giving up ownership of the pictures, just that by the agreement signed between you and Instagram (when signing up) you’ve already given consent for Instagram to use your picture contents as stated above.  Not only can Instagram make use of your contents as stated above, but it can also pass the rights to do these things onto a third party – without permission. It can do this because the terms state that the licence is transferable. This means that Instagram can freely assign or licence the rights to use its user’s content to another company or individual. Although  in other jurisdictions apart from Nigeria, there are some other situations which makes people use your pictures under certain circumstances such as in fair dealing in Canada and UK which allow people to use your images in certain circumstances without your permission. Now go to your settings to see what you permit! The service’s  privacy  policy can be found here; http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.                                                                                                             However, you can end these non exclusive license by easily deleting your photos/content or delete your Instagram account.  Even if the main purpose of social media is all about posting/sharing, Dealing with contents that is not your own or without the permission of the rightful owner, would be contrary to the Instagram terms and could be an infringement on Copyright. and you could be sued. Instagram provides that:                                     
“You can’t post private or confidential information or do anything that violates someone else’s rights, including intellectual property”   
This is because, according to the terms, users agree that they either own they post or have sought permission from the owner. Else, it could be construed as copyright infringement. 
Also, the terms of use provides that ” You can’t attempt to buy, sell, or transfer any aspect of your account (including your username) or solicit, collect, or use login credentials or badges of other users” This is basically, saying that you cannot buy another user’s account, username, login credentials/details or any aspect of a user’s account. You can also not sell your account or details of your account. 
Furthermore, to use Instagram’s trademarks, you have to that under their guidelines ad provided under the topic BRAND GUIDELINES or with their written permission. Trademarks are words, symbols,  or phrases used to identify a particular company’s product and differentiate it from other companies’ products. Generally, trademark law seeks to prevent confusion among consumers about who provides or is affiliated with a product or service. So, trademark here is the use of Instagram’s signature.Now, to learn and access more information about their copyright, you go to the Instagram’s Intellectual property page. You can also access how to report copyright violations through the” learn more about reporting trademark violations” it will take you to the copyright page and the page includes Q&A on copyright and how you can report copyright violations on Instagram. You can also submit a claim to their designated agents. Instagram also provided for informations to include in a copyright report;
” Please note that we regularly provide the rights owner’s name, your email address and the details of your report to the person who posted the content you are reporting. In the case that you are an authorized representative submitting a report, we provide the name of the organization or client that owns the right in question. You may wish to provide a valid generic business or professional email address for this reason” 
Additionally, we have the “Instagram Community Guidelines” page. Under this page we have issues on the protection of the community (Instagram). ” Share only photos and videos that you’ve taken or have the right to share. As always, you own the content you post on Instagram. Remember to post authentic content, and don’t post anything you’ve copied or collected from the Internet that you don’t have the right to post” 
This information and other ones provided on the page, serves as a notification that whatever content you want to post must be your own or you must have been permitted. With this, it is imperative to check whatever content you want to post or share. They can be found here: http://help.instagram.com/customer/portal/articles/262387-community-guidelines.
Lastly, To post your own content on Instagram, try to follow the Instagram term of use by placing a copyright symbol on your posts, always make sure a link to your website/ email is intact on your profile and use watermarks on your contents. What is a watermark? A watermark is a more or less transparent image or text that has been applied to a piece of paper, another image to either protect the original image, or to make it harder to copy the item.
Note that: YOU AGREE THAT IN THE EVENT YOU INCUR ANY DAMAGES, LOSSES OR INJURIES THAT ARISE OUT OF INSTAGRAM’S ACTS OR OMISSIONS, THE DAMAGES, IF ANY, CAUSED TO YOU ARE NOT IRREPARABLE OR SUFFICIENT TO ENTITLE YOU TO AN INJUNCTION PREVENTING ANY EXPLOITATION OF ANY WEB SITE, SERVICE, PROPERTY, PRODUCT OR OTHER CONTENT OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE INSTAGRAM PARTIES, AND YOU WILL HAVE NO RIGHTS TO ENJOIN OR RESTRAIN THE DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, ADVERTISING, EXHIBITION OR EXPLOITATION OF ANY WEB SITE, PROPERTY, PRODUCT, SERVICE, OR OTHER CONTENT OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE INSTAGRAM PARTIES. 
You have  agreed that all disputes between you and Instagram (whether or not such dispute involves a third party) with regard to your relationship with Instagram, including without limitation disputes related to these Terms of Use, your use of the Service, and/or rights of privacy and/or publicity, will be resolved by binding, individual arbitration under the American Arbitration Association’s rules for arbitration of consumer-related disputes and you and Instagram hereby expressly waive trial by jury. As an alternative, you may bring your claim in your local “small claims” court, if permitted by that small claims court’s rules. You may bring claims only on your own behalf. Neither you nor Instagram will participate in a class action or class-wide arbitration for any claims covered by this agreement. You also agree not to participate in claims brought in a private attorney general or representative capacity, or consolidated claims involving another person’s account, if Instagram is a party to the proceeding. This dispute resolution provision will be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act. In the event the American Arbitration Association is unwilling or unable to set a hearing date within one hundred and sixty (160) days of filing the case, then either Instagram or you can elect to have the arbitration administered instead by the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services. Judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having competent jurisdiction. Any provision of applicable law notwithstanding, the arbitrator will not have authority to award damages, remedies or awards that conflict with these Terms of Use.                                                                                                                               Also note that, you can always opt out of this agreement to arbitrate.                                                                                                    To opt out, you must notify Instagram in writing within 30 days of the date that you first became subject to this arbitration provision, including your name, email address used for Instagram account, residence address as well as a clear statement,that you want to opt-out.  You must use this address to opt out:  Instagram, LLC ATTN: Arbitration Opt-out 1601 Willow Rd. Menlo Park, CA 94025. 
To end with, we should always remember that ignorance of the law is not an excuse, Read the contracts you sign online! 

Sekoni-Dairo Radiyah is a year 3  student of Bola Ajibola College of Law (Crescent University, Abeokuta)  and can be reached on [email protected], 09072347373. 
*REFERENCES*
https://www.copyrightlaws.com /instagram-and-copyright/
https://help.instagram.com/581066165581870https://
theconversation.com/ten-things-you-should-know-about-instagrams-terms-of-use-102800https://tldrlegal.com/license/instagram-terms-of-use

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