How an artist can steal and sell your Instagram photos

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Can a photographer get away with selling screenshots of other people’s Instagrams for $90,000?

There’s a legal argument for it, which might protect photographer Richard Prince, who took grabbed a bunch of Instagram photos, printed large copies of them and putting them up for sale at the Frieze Art Fair in New York — as if they were his own.

According to Instagram’s own Terms of Use, you own your photos and videos. But buried in Instagram’s privacy policy is an otherwise innocuous line that could protect Prince’s controversial actions.

“Once you have shared User Content or made it public, that User Content may be re-shared by others.”

That seems obvious enough. But Mary Ann L. Wymore, an intellectual property attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. thinks that might be the loophole that someone like Prince uses to grant himself permission to copy entire Instagram posts.


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