Ars Technica received notification via email earlier this week that Instagram does not extend its copyright license to cover content that is embedded on external websites via the Instagram API.Track this API This statement comes in light of an ongoing legal battle related to third-party use of the social platform’s data.
Ars Technica writer Timothy B. Lee quoted an Instagram representative as saying that:
"While our terms allow us to grant a sub-license, we do not grant one for our embeds API … Our platform policies require third parties to have the necessary rights from applicable rights holders. This includes ensuring they have a license to share this content, if a license is required by law."
The revelation of this distinction comes to light after Mashable.com was sued by a photographer for embedding his photograph on their website via Instagram. Mashable claimed that Instagram’s copyright license noted in their terms of service is sufficient to protect companies that embed this content on their website. Instagram’s new stance on this issue puts Mashable’s position, and possible their defense of the lawsuit, on thin ice.
This situation further highlights the need to properly vet data sources for potential legal conflicts. It is very possible that Instagram could provide this level of protection to their API users, but whether they will or not seems unclear.
Make sure to check out the original article for more detail on the situation.