If you did read the terms and condition on Instagram you would have discovered that when you post content on your Instagram account, you have granted Instagram a “non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty free, transferable, sub licensable, worldwide license”.
So what does this mean? Essentially you “own” your photo, but you have granted Instagram substantially the same rights you have to use that photo. In short, Instagram can use your photo in an advertisement on Instagram without asking your permission or paying for it.
But what about other companies using content found on Instagram? A young Brisbane teen is considering legal action against Lorna Jane after the company used one of her personal Instagram posts on a range of t-shirts. Lydia Jahnke claims that, in doing so, Lorna Jane has breached the Copyright Act. The case highlights the importance in seeking permission when using content found on social media accounts.