As influencers grow their audiences and photographers showcase their talents on Instagram, stolen pictures are growing at an increasing rate. Just like a company defending a patent, brand managers, and those managing their personal brands, need to defend their own intellectual property from being stolen and copycats.
Reporting stolen photos on Instagram
A previous client added a picture to her Instagram story last night calling out an influential Instagram account that simply steals pictures from prominent outdoor photographers and influencers and then posts them as their own.
As she found out, reporting the account or reporting the picture as SPAM doesn’t actually remove the picture, and since the account is not behaving as SPAM, flagging it probably won’t do anything to shut them down.
What you need to do is file an Intellectual Property Theft claim with Instagram. I’ve had to do this several times myself recently.
Getting to this form is pretty tedious and unless you know where to look; I’m not sure how anyone would ever find it. And why Instagram doesn’t make this feature as easy as “reporting an account as Spam,” I have no idea.
The form is extremely self explanatory and easy to fill out. You just need to provide some contact information, a link to the stolen picture, and a link to your original picture.
The Account Stealing Pictures
As for the unethical account in question, I hate to give them any traffic or free publicity, but if you’re an outdoor photographer or influencer in the outdoor space, you might want to take a look and make sure none of your pictures are on there.
Until there’s a way to easily report stolen pictures or report an entire account like this one (which there’s not), this problem won’t go away. All you can do is defend your brand or the brand you represent.
Once again, the form to remove your stolen picture on Instagram is here: