NY Court Allows Use of Third-Party Photo Embedding, Thanks to Instagram’s Terms of Service

Written by Robert H. Rotstein and Timothy M. Carter

In the past few years, the advent of social media has increasingly tested the bounds of copyright law.  The issue of whether “in-line linking” or “embedding” constitutes actionable copyright infringement is no exception.

Early last week, in Stephanie Sinclair v. Ziff Davis, LLC, and Mashable, Inc., 1:18-cv-00790 (SDNY, April 13, 2020), Judge Kimba Wood held that Defendant Mashable did not engage in copyright infringement by embedding of Plaintiff photographer Stephanie Sinclair’s photograph “Child, Bride, Mother/Child Marriage in Guatemala” (the “Photograph”). The Court determined that Mashable used the Photograph, which was posted to Sinclair’s publicly viewable Instagram account, pursuant to a valid sublicense granted to Instagram by Sinclair.  Accordingly, Judge Wood granted Mashable’s motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on the grounds that Sinclair failed to state a claim for copyright infringement. Continue reading “NY Court Allows Use of Third-Party Photo Embedding, Thanks to Instagram’s Terms of Service”

US Visa Applicants Now Required To Provide Social Media Identifiers

Social media concept
Photo credit: iStock.com/Urupong

By Benjamin Lau and David Rugendorf.

On May 31, 2019, the US Department of State updated their Form DS-160 (online nonimmigrant visa application) and Form DS-260 (online immigrant visa application) to collect social media identifiers for those applying for nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. Applicants for US visas are now being asked to provide all social media identifiers they have used within the past five (5) years. This update was announced in a statement to the press by a US Department of State official on June 1, 2019.

A social media “handle” or “identifier” is any name used by the individual on social media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The updated visa application forms currently employ a drop-down menu which list the specific social media platforms for which identifiers are being requested. An example of the drop-down menu from online visa application form can be seen below: Continue reading “US Visa Applicants Now Required To Provide Social Media Identifiers”