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How to report stolen content on Instagram 
Brand Protection
4 mins

How to report stolen content on Instagram 

Table of Contents:

    There are currently over 2.35 billion monthly active users on Instagram. The incredible popularity of Instagram presents many opportunities for brands looking to expand their customer base and produce engaging online content. 

    Unfortunately, there are also many opportunities for scammers to steal your business’s content and use it without authorization on their own Instagram accounts. This challenges the integrity and value of your intellectual property. These scammers must be stopped. But, how? 

    How can you report stolen content on Instagram? How do you know when your business’s content has been stolen? How do you reveal the thief’s identity? And, what copyright enforcement measures can you put in place to stop the thefts in the first place? 

    In this blog, we’ll be exploring how to report stolen content on Instagram by touching on a number of topics, including: 

    • How to report stolen content on Instagram
    • How to detect if your content has been stolen on Instagram
    • How can you prevent your content from being stolen on Instagram in the first place? 

    How to report stolen content on Instagram

    Your business likely owns copyrights to a variety of content. When your business posts any photo or video on Instagram they own the copyright to this content. If another Instagram user reposts this content without permission and without giving proper credit, they will likely be infringing your copyrights. If you want this stolen content to be taken down by Instagram you need to file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) report. 

    Here is a step-by-step guide to filing a DMCA report on Instagram:  

    Step 1) 

    Head over to the ‘How to Report Things’ page on Instagram. Under the ‘Report Intellectual Property Infringement’ heading there is a link to their DMCA report form. Click on this link. 

    Step 2)  

    Before you fill out the form, you will have to select the option that describes your relationship to the rights owner. 

    Step 3) 

    When you have selected an option, a ‘Contact Information’ will drop down. Fill this in. Here you will provide an email and mailing address, the name of the rights owner, where you are asserting your rights, and the kind of copyrighted work you want to protect. 

    Step 4) 

    Below is a section called ‘Content You Want to Report’. Here you can provide links to the content you are reporting as well as a description of why you are reporting this content. 

    Step 5) 

    Then read the ‘Declaration Statement’, add your electronic signature, and press ‘Send’.

    You will receive an email confirming your report. You will receive another email, usually within 48 hours, when Instagram has removed or disabled access to the content. 

    Submitting an online report form within the Instagram system is usually the fastest way to report an individual case of stolen content. However, if your business’s content is being stolen by hundreds, or even thousands, of scammers on Instagram then you may need to look for a more sophisticated and comprehensive DMCA takedown solution

    Red Points Social Media Impersonation Removal

    How to detect if your content has been stolen on Instagram

    The trouble with detecting stolen content on Instagram is the amount of content uploaded every day. At least 95 million photos and videos are posted on Instagram each day. This makes manual monitoring and detecting extremely difficult and impractical. 

    If the scammer posts the stolen content and promotes it with hashtags that use your brand’s name or something similar to your brand’s name you can discover the content by simply searching for it. However, this manual approach will be quite time-consuming and there is no guarantee that the stolen content will use similar wording or hashtags. 

    You can also detect stolen content by doing a Google Lens search. With Google Lens, you can upload your images and search for their presence online. By doing this search you can see whether your copyrighted images are being used by scammers on any websites, including Instagram. This method of detection, while effective on an individual basis, is also time-consuming and it will not give you a comprehensive view of the potential stolen content online. 

    How can you prevent your content from being stolen on Instagram in the first place?

    You know what to do once your content has been stolen. However, ideally, you will have measures to stop your content from being stolen on Instagram in the first place. There are two main preventative methods to follow: Manual tricks and/or a Software Solution. 

    Manual tricks

    • Watermarking

    A watermark is a superimposed logo or piece of text. It can be placed on top of an image file to indicate ownership and discourage pirates from stealing your content. The downside is that it makes the image look awkward and won’t prevent the most bullish scammers from stealing your content. 

    • Disable the sharing option

    You can also simply disable the sharing option within the Instagram settings. This will prevent other Instagram users from sharing your posts. The downside to this blanket disable approach is that it prevents regular users from legitimately sharing your business’s content and organically growing your brand’s image. 

    • Attach a copyright symbol

    You will no doubt recognize the copyright symbol: ©. This can be attached to any of your copyrighted content on Instagram to make users aware of your rights and deter scammers. 

    Scalable software solutions such as Red Points’ automated Copyright Infringement Detection software

    Instead of employing basic manual tricks, you can instead try scalable, automated solutions like Red Points’ Copyright Infringement Detection software to protect your content on Instagram. 

    Our Copyright enforcement software functions via 3 simple and effective steps: 

    • Detect

    Red Points leverages a machine learning platform that carries out a bot-powered search to crawl through websites and social media to ensure that any potential infringement of your copyrights is brought to light. 

    Once detected our system immediately records the link associated with each infringement and infringer, adding them to a log for you to review on our platform. 

    • Validation and Enforcement

    You will then review and validate the logged Instagram accounts to confirm whether or not there is a potential infringement. Our software also enables you to automate the validation of certain infringements, based on rules and priorities that you set up.

    Once you have identified the infringing Instagram accounts we will enforce them on your behalf by sending removal and takedown requests. Our intellectual property experts will also take out-of-court actions to prevent further copyright infringement, ensuring you receive lasting protection. 

    • Report

    Transparency is a priority for us at Red Points. Our reporting system provides you with real-time documentation, revealing the results of our copyright enforcement approach. 

    Through performance dashboards, you will quickly and easily understand your coverage. You will also receive customized reports that will allow you to measure the impact of your Anti Piracy actions and your ability to protect your content on Instagram. 

    What’s Next

    Copyright infringement on Instagram is a scary issue for many businesses. The best way to combat infringement is to report offenders using Instagram’s system and take as many preventative measures as possible. 

    Red Points’ Copyright Infringement Detection software is the most sophisticated and effective step you can take. Our approach is both preventative and proactive –  it targets scammers at the source, takes down infringing content, and allows you to assess your overall approach to social media copyright protection. 
    By reporting and taking down stolen content on Instagram you will protect your copyrights and brand. With robust online content protection, you can also safeguard your revenue and allow your brand to grow organically. To learn more about how the Red Points can help your brand, request a demo today.


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