Walking the thin line between copyright infringement and press freedom

Whenever one creates content either online or in print, they have to make sure that everything is plagiarism-free and will not infringe on any copyright laws. The law about copyright infringement is harsh so that it can protect the people who create purely original content.

After all, some of them either write articles or take pictures as their bread and butter. The content creator will receive little to no pay when someone plagiarizes their work. Copyright laws are implemented to see to it that these people earn their keep. However, unscrupulous people exploit loopholes to make money from other people’s work.

Instagram has a clause concerning uploaded content; in this case, photos. The clause states that whenever a user of the platform uploads a photo, that user knowingly licenses the platform to use the photo and sub-license it to any website. Everything is legal about it, so no user can say that their photos were infringed on their copyrights. 

Legal indeed but a loophole at best. It is very dangerous to people, especially those who don’t read the fine print of what they are signing into. While it is true that Instagram is one of the best ways to promote a person’s photography skills in the hopes that they will have some big break, they unwittingly sell their wares for free.

Although a technique exists wherein a platform can use a photo without doing any copyright infringement, what Instagram did here was walking that very thin line between freedom of the press and copyright infringement.

How can people protect their copyrights?

Copyright laws must be amended to protect people further. After all, there are no company terms that can supersede the laws of the government. It is why they resort to exploiting loopholes that would keep them safe from prosecution. What the people could do is to exercise caution by reading the terms and conditions where they would embed their photos on.

Never scroll down and click on “I Agree” without reading the fine print. Any Instagram user can use the option to make their posts private. By doing so, it prevents any sub-licensing from happening. 

Above all, being careful is the best way to defend oneself from others stealing their work. People spent time and shed blood, sweat, and tears to create original content. Copying or acquiring it from them using some loophole is shameful and must be stopped.

Images courtesy of Freestocks.org/Pexels, Lisa Fotios/Pexels

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