If an image is uploaded to the internet, it doesn’t become public property. That’s common knowledge, especially in the business world. These lines seem to have gotten a bit fuzzy on social media though, especially on Instagram.
A lot of consumers tag brands in pictures on Instagram. However, brands have begun to use these photos as their own. Is that okay? What rights does the brand have versus the consumer? While the lines are still fuzzy, the safest and current best practice for these brands is to try to get the consent of the user to use the picture for their own accounts or promotions. As this becomes more and more commonplace, laws are likely to hash out the details. For now, it’ll continue to be an organized free for all.