Embedded Instagram posts

But the citizens were totally unaware….
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A post shared by Anna Friemoth (@annafriemoth) on


That’s me and Duane Michals on Anna’s Instagram.

These self-portraits are copyrighted, and they better never show up on any other website besides mine or Anna’s without my permission. I gave Anna permission to post these on her Instagram to wish me Happy Birthday, but I never gave permission for my photos to be used in any other way.

I had to wrap my head around the hot topic of embedding Instagram posts, so I tried it myself.

Here is one of my Instagram posts, or it was before I went “Private” to protest.

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A post shared by Penny Gentieu (@pennygentieu) on

“The link to this photo or video may have been broken or removed.” Ha! that’s to put it very politely! It means this:

The photographer went “Private” in protest of Instagram’s draconian misuse of her copyrights. Because switching her Instagram account to “Private” was the only way that she could keep her photographs from appearing on commercial websites that, without the free content giveaway from Instagram of her Instagram photos, would otherwise be paying her to use her photos. That’s how professional photographers make a living.

But my punishment for going “Private” to protect the value of my work is that I won’t be able to connect with anyone beyond my small network. So what is the point of being on Instagram anymore. I have no choice but to give my rights away in a draconian take-it-or-leave-it contract with Instagram that gives them unlimited sublicensing rights to my Instagram photographs to give to anyone they want to, outside of the Instagram universe, without any compensation to me, or else I cannot be a part of the inner sanctum of the Instagram universe. It’s a really high price to pay, totally at odds with my best interests, because I’m a professional photographer.

Read about Draco on Wikipedia:

Draco (/ˈdreɪkoʊ/; Greek: Δράκων, Drakōn; fl. c. 7th century BC), also called Drako or Drakon, was the first recorded legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece. He replaced the prevailing system of oral law and blood feud by a written code to be enforced only by a court of law. Draco was the first democratic legislator, requested by the Athenian citizens to be a lawgiver for the city-state, but the citizens were fully unaware that Draco would establish laws characterized by their harshness. Since the 19th century, the adjective draconian refers to similarly unforgiving rules or laws, in Greek, English and other European languages.

Photographers are unaware, that’s for sure!

Isn’t giving Instagram free content for their advertising-driven Instagram platform that makes them billionaires off of our artwork enough for them?
Besides being forced to have to allow your public Instagram posts to be embedded in websites that you don’t know anything about or have any control over, Instagram gives away your photos wholesale on Picuki.com. Clear your cookies if you ever go there. This is my Healthcare Photo Stock Facebook page’s post about Picuki. Embedded, of course.

Why wasn’t a jury allowed to decide on the Sinclair v. Mashable copyright lawsuit involving Instagram? Two years on the judge’s desk and no discovery?  If a jury were allowed to hear the case, things wouldn’t have turned out this way.  Instagram, after all, is like a utility, with the majority of the population of America and much of the world using it daily. Their content being entirely our content is not enough for them? It’s an abuse of power for a whole class of individuals who own copyrights to be diminished by this Big Tech Goliath.