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Instagram and the Right of Publicity: Legal Implications for Content Creators

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Among the globally acknowledged and lucratively compensated individuals, social media influencers stand out. They became exceptionally popular with the rapid rise of platforms like Twitch, TikTok, and OnlyFans. Their popularity soared with the sustained growth of Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.

Social media platforms have revolutionized the way brands engage in promotion, offering opportunities to advertise their products and services. Often, collaborating with influencers for effective marketing also plays a key role.

Influencers and brands now face novel legal challenges and risks. Infringement on intellectual property rights, including copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets, demands legal action. It’s not a one-way street, as influencers can opt for an Instagram lawsuit or vice versa.

The initial signs of a dispute often manifest through take-down notices or cease-and-desist letters. As per TorHoerman Law, only a legal team can assess the underlying agreements or terms of use. Furthermore, they can guide the most appropriate response along the way.

Copyright Concerns in Content Sharing

At its core, copyright laws prohibit the use of original creative work without the owner’s consent. Section 102 of the Copyright Act delineates specific types of works that qualify for copyright protection. It covers all expressions that have been documented in a physical medium.

In the space of influencers and brands, using another’s copyrighted material is common. This might refer to a musical piece used in a reel or a visual element in a video on YouTube.

Obtaining licenses before integrating copyrighted material is mandatory. Violating such rules results in posts infringing on others’ copyrights. This defies both publicity and trademark rights.

Furthermore, it directly ends up in Instagram Privacy Violation. Infringement can occur through the influencer or brand’s social media posts. Besides, influencers materially contributing to posting infringing content also leads to violation.

Such infringement exposes influencers, brands, and any involved parties to financial liabilities. The Copyright Act lets rightful owners claim the profits earned by the infringer in cases of copyright infringement.

Liability of Content Creators in Mental Health Matters

An emerging concern is gaining prominence: the impact of online content on users’ mental health. The Instagram lawsuit on mental health is proof of this evolving challenge. Influencers’ liability for the mental well-being of their audience is under scrutiny.

Content creators, particularly influencers, play a crucial role in shaping perceptions and behaviors on social media. The content that glamorizes unrealistic lifestyles or beauty standards could potentially harm users’ mental health. This raises critical questions about influencers’ legal responsibilities.

Influencers need to navigate carefully to avoid potential legal risks. The content they share could make them liable if found to contribute to mental health issues among users. It’s a new area of legal exposure that influencers must be aware of and respond to proactively.

Creating and Negotiating Agreements for Social Media Influencers

Understand the terms of an influencer contract thoroughly. Here are some of the fundamental ones:


Compensation is an influencer’s payment or financial consideration for services or brand collaboration. Influencer contracts outline compensation terms, specifying payment amount, format, and potential extra commissions or bonuses. The contract may detail payment variations for different content or services provided.


Consider it as a contractual provision. It limits one party from collaborating with other companies or brands within a specific area or timeframe. Exclusivity clauses in influencer contracts prohibit the promotion of rival products or brands while the partnership is active. Such clauses limit the influencer’s opportunities to engage with other brands in the related sector.

Therefore, influencers often seek exclusivity restrictions that are as narrow as possible to maximize their opportunities. In contrast, brands typically desire broader exclusivity terms to maximize their investment in the influencer and protect their brand image.


Termination involves ending a contract prematurely. Influencer contracts outline conditions for termination initiated by either party. Influencers need to pay close attention to termination clauses within their contracts.

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These clauses play a pivotal role in defining parameters under which agreements may be prematurely ended. Moreover, it includes requirements for giving notice and outlines the repercussions that follow an early contract termination. It safeguards their rights and interests in case of early termination. Instagram lawsuit claims are the only remaining solution for failing to comply.


Renewal extends a contract beyond its original term. In influencer contracts, the renewal clause details conditions for automatic roll-over renewal or options for agreement renewal. It’s a chance to reassess the partnership and negotiate terms that reflect current needs and market conditions.

Negotiating the renewal clause can be done. It applies to influencers and brands. It extends to continuing partnerships, securing future collaborations, and existing networks. They can either continue a successful relationship or make necessary changes for future collaborations.

The Correlation Between FTC Compliance and Social Media Influencers

The Federal Trade Commission or FTC mandates that influencers openly reveal any connections they have with the brands they endorse. These guidelines aim to provide full transparency to followers about influencers’ affiliations.

Key guidelines for social media influencers to achieve FTC compliance include:

Disclose sponsored content

When an influencer is compensated for promoting a product or service, they are required to make conspicuous declarations. They must indicate the sponsorship of content.

Be honest and transparent

Promote products or services the influencer genuinely believes in, avoiding false or misleading claims about what they endorse.

Avoid disguised advertisements

Refrain from creating content that appears as independent editorial but is paid advertising.

Follow sponsored social media post guidelines

Adhere to brand or company guidelines for sponsored posts, ensuring clear differentiation from other content.

Keep records

Maintain records of sponsored content and received compensation in case of FTC investigations.

Violating FTC guidelines can lead to big tech lawsuits, fines, and reputational damage.

Concluding Notes

As a content creator transitioning from personal pages to platforms like Instagram, it’s essential to seek thorough legal support. Go for a legal representative with expertise in representing content creators and celebrities. Ensure that the chosen professional is well-qualified to simplify complexities. 

Moreover, get a legal advocate with a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by content creators. It can enhance your chances of achieving a favorable result in any legal proceedings against Instagram.

Instagram and the Right of Publicity: Legal Implications for Content Creators

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