Using Instagram content outside of Instagram: What is allowed and what is forbidden?

Sharing posts and stories on Instagram is quick and easy – just a few clicks and you’re done. At the same time, these few clicks start a chain, where laws and restrictions come into play.

Content sharing and linking is allowed

If you use the “share” or “embedded link” function, it is a reference to material published on Instagram. This is an in-platform sharing or linking process, in which case you do not need to ask the author for permission. When 24 hours pass, the story disappears forever. The post will forever crash into Instagram feeds and be shared (linked) on other platforms.

An Instagram story cannot be shared on other social media platforms like posting because stories cannot be linked. If you want to share a story outside of Instagram, you need to take a screenshot.

Sharing screenshots is not allowed

A screenshot is making a copy and therefore copyright. Sharing a screenshot online is making it available to the public, which is also copyright.

Sharing a post and screenshot of a story outside of Instagram is making it available to the public to a new audience. This is because the content is shared with people to whom it was not originally intended for. Within the meaning of European case law, such conduct is considered copyright, therefore all decisions are made by the author of the photograph.

If a screenshot of an Instagram post or story is used in a new sense (e.g. in a news portal), the author’s consent must be sought for publication. Consequently, sharing screenshots in a media publication or on a website without the author’s consent is an infringement of copyright.

The story is visible 24 hours unless the user decides that they want to keep it available at all times. Thus, the user’s goal may be for the story to be available only for a certain period of time, and they do not want to share it on other platforms.

Making copies for personal use without the author’s consent is permitted. On Instagram, users can take screenshots of good makeup ideas or beautiful sets of clothes, but only for personal use. Uploading materials to web services is not considered personal use. Therefore, such screenshots should live only in memory and on the screen of the user’s smartphone.

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