Photographer Sells Others’ Instagram Photos As Art Without Permission For Thousands

29 January 2016


WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) – The photos you put online live online forever, but very rarely do they end up making someone else millions of dollars. At this year’s Frieze Art Fair in New York, Richard Prince sold dozens of enlarged Instagram photos for 90-thousand each. The controversial artist made a total of 2.3 million dollars. All without the permission of the instagram users. The images, all only slightly altered, are raising questions around what rights users really have when it comes to online posts. One of the instagram stars featured at the gallery, Doe Deere, posted a statement online, saying “No I did not give my permission and yes, the controversial artist Richard Prince put it up anyway.”

Seth Kolton is an attorney with Weiss, Handler and Cornwell and says “It would almost necessitate one of these people filing a lawsuit to see exactly whether or not what this person did violates copyright law.” Some of the users are now fighting back but in a different way. Doe Deere and another Instagram user plan to resell the same photos Prince sold for 90 dollars each. All of the funds will go to charity. Kolton says it’s a reminder what you put online is fair game and to change your privacy settings if you don’t want people to have access to your photos. Richard Prince is known for similar controversies over the years and according to his online reaction, he is convinced he has done nothing wrong.

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