And finally…Artist sells screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos for $90,000

Image via nightcoregirl on Instagram

A photographer is courting controversy in American for selling screenshots of other people’s Instagram pictures for as much as $90,000 a-time.

Photographer Richard Prince grabbed a job lot of Instagram photos, printed large copies of them and put them up for sale at the Frieze Art Fair in New York — as if they were his own.

The apparently brazen act has caused outrage from some as, according to Instagram’s own Terms of Use, users own the rights to their own photos and videos.

But buried in the social media platform’s privacy policy is an otherwise innocuous line that could protect Prince and his unlikely new business.

“Once you have shared User Content or made it public, that User Content may be re-shared by others.”

While this seems an obvious and essential part a functioning social media site, lawyers like Mary Ann L. Wymore, an American intellectual property specialist, think that it may also provide a loophole that more entrepreneurial users may grant themselves permission to copy entire Instagram posts for profit.

“We’ve found the defense they’d probably try to rely on, which is consent — explicit or implied,” she said. “People need to be very careful about their privacy settings.”

Prince could also have legally posted people’s Instagram photos by having them licensed from the Facebook-owned social network, as Instagram says it can sell your photos and grant permission on your behalf.

But Instagram said it didn’t sub-licence any user content to the artist, and one subject of Prince’s profiteering, Doe Deere, a makeup company CEO who displays her images on the site, publicly berated Prince on Instagram for putting her photo on display at New York’s Frieze Art Fair “without my knowledge.”

Prince has not commented publically on the controversy or through the Gagosian Gallery, which displays his work.

What also remains a mystery is why someone would spend £60,000 on a print of someone else’s instagram photo in the first place…