Instagram Copyright Report Webform

Brand Protection & Content Protection
-Takedown Guides-


Instagram Copyright Protection
A Guide To The Instagram Copyright Takedown Webform

Instagram – the photo-sharing lifestyle social network. Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 for one billion dollars, which now looks a bargain price given Instagram is valued at over 100 billion dollars. Instagram has evolved from being just a photo-sharing app, with the social media platform supporting video content and facilitating more personal connections through Instagram Stories.


Instagram is a highly engaging platform which gained popularity with millennials and Gen Z as Facebook grew into the monolithic social network in most parts of the world, with the notable exception of China. Features such as video content and Stories have been added with minimal clutter to the clean, simple user-interface users of Instagram grew accustom to.


Given the visual nature of the platform, Instagram is able to quickly grab the attention of users with carefully crafted posts. As such, Instagram has been heavily used by brands for marketing, but also content creators and SMEs to gain a following. The popularity of the platform in certain categories, specifically fashion, cosmetics, luxury, jewellery and home furnishing has not gone unnoticed by counterfeiters and brand abusers. Instagram is one of the most popular platforms used by merchants of knock-offs, deploying a variety of tactics to draw traffic away from legitimate channels and accounts.


The other major brand risk is lookalike accounts. It is extremely common to find Instagram accounts which aim to cause confusion by using popular brand names offering counterfeits, or driving traffic to competitors and even accounts involved in phishing scams. Official Instagram accounts are also often hacked, with attackers using the official account to access personal data of users to exploit before the brand has effectively reacted to reclaim the account. Social media security is vital in the modern, hyper fast and hyper social digital economy. Brand owners and content creators must include Instagram in their brand protection strategy to keep the platform operational for marketing and brand building and to protect customers from counterfeiters and scammers.


The focus of this guide is how-to submit a notification for copyright infringement using the Instagram online webform – “Copyright Report Form”. Unsurprisingly, the Instagram webform closely follows the format of the Facebook webform for consistency across the digital rights protection tools offered by Facebook companies.


To report trade mark infringement, see:

A Guide To The Instagram Counterfeit Takedown Webform

A Guide To The Instagram Trademark Takedown Webform


Instagram’s copyright webform is DMCA-compliant and applies the concepts of fair use and the platform applies a repeat infringer policy. Whilst the specific details of the repeat infringer policy are kept secret to avoid abuse from rightsholders and infringers, accounts can be also be suspended upon first notice if the volume of infringing content is significant enough. Instagram, again like Facebook, has been riddled with fake and bot accounts – significant engineering resource from Instagram (and Facebook) is put into reducing such abusive accounts as they have been identified as a core cause of content governance issues. Instagram has cracked down on accounts not complying with their own Terms of Service, with IPR protection taken seriously by the platform. Reported infringements submitted via the webform are typically processed within 48 hours. Click here to access the webform.

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The “Copyright Report Form” start page is to confirm the reporter does want to file a copyright notification by selecting the “I found content which I believe infringes my copyright”. Selecting any other option directs the reporter to the relevant form i.e. form for submitting trademark infringement notification or to the help centre for support regarding the specified issue. Instagram has a large section dedicated to intellectual property rights focusing on copyrights and trade marks which can be found here. The link to the section is also displayed when selecting the copyright option at the start of the process. Instagram also displays a message stating the serious nature of submitting a copyright takedown request including the potential for account termination or even liability for damages caused if the report is made fraudulently or without due care. Select “Continue with my copyright report” to proceed.

Four sections are displayed:

  • Contact Information
  • Content that you want to report
  • Your copyrighted work(s)
  • Declaration

Clicking on the radio button under each heading expands the section, each must be completed to submit the copyright notification.


Contact Information

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To submit a notification, the reporter must either select “Me or my organisation” or “My client” as noted in the requirements. Selecting the “Someone else” option brings a message to explain with a third party cannot report copyright infringement via this form. If reporting as the rightsholder, the form will request the reporter’s name and “job responsibility” – which from the dropdown the reporter can choose “Owner”, “Legal Advisor” or two ‘other’ options. If reporting on behalf of a client the form will request the reporter’s name, organisation name and “Your relationship to the rights owner”. After selecting the appropriate option in the dropdown menu under relationship, all the other contact information needs to be completed. The postal address can be for the organisation reporting if on behalf of a client. The box requesting “Name of the rights owner” can either be a person’s name of organisation’s name. The last box in this section is “Where is the rights owner based?”, providing two options – “United States” or “Outside the United States”. If the outside the US option is selected, the country must be entered into the “Country” box below, as the reporter starts to type the name of the country a live list will appear, select the relevant country to proceed.


Content that you want to report

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For the first option under content to report, typically “Photo or video” is selected. This covers both text, images and links in posts that infringe copyright.

The large box “Please provide links (URLS)…” enables bulk submission of infringing URLs. It is advised to only submit single content types together in a notice to avoid confusion and potential delay in the processing of the notice. This part of the webform is where most errors occur as users struggle to find the correct URL to submit when using the Instagram app. If using the app, click the ‘burger icon’ – the three stacked grey dots (or horizontal dots on iOS) and then click copy link. Alternatively, use a browser to access Instagram and then navigate to the infringing account or post, then copy the URL from the search bar. It is advised to conduct searches via the app as Instagram is optimised for the app environment, therefore the delivery of content through the mobile app is vital to monitor.


The final option in this section is “Why are you reporting this content” dropdown menu. Typically, the first option “This content copies my work” is used for all types of works that are protected by copyright. The option “This content uses my name” can be selected, although the scope of this option is far smaller, it is advised to conduct research or seek professional advice before proceeding with a copyright submission based on this option.


Your copyrighted work(s)

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The dropdown menu requests the reporter “best describes” the work protected by copyright. The options do not include music or sound recording, to report either of these select “Other”. The dropdown menu includes most other common categories i.e. “A photo I took” or “A Video I created” which are most likley to be the issue. If selecting other than a box will be added to the form requesting “Please describe your copyrighted work.”. The box below must be completed for all types of copyright protected works, requesting an authorised example of the work, for music providing a URL from Discogs is advisable, for audiovisual content IMBD. Social media links, including Instagram/Facebook is also valid, covering photos and other often shared categories. If the work is not available online the reporter must give a detailed description with some proof of ownership. The final option in this section is the optional choice of adding an attachment, it is advised to include attachments proving ownership, especially when an online version is not provided in the box above.



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The final section has only one radio button, however selecting this button has legal consequences which are displayed beneath the option. Submitting a copyright takedown request is a serious legal process it is advised to carefully read the statements agreed to by clicking the option, which are the reporter has good faith belief the use of copyright protected material is not authorised, that the notice is accurate and under the penalty of perjury the reporter is authorised to submit the notice. To finish, click “Submit” and the copyright takedown notice is sent for the infringing content to be removed, pending review.


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