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Many Celebrities including a Government Official Share a Copyright Hoax on Instagram

Many famous actors, musicians and even the head of the US department of Energy, and many regular users have been posting a hoax memo that claims Instagram will soon have permission to make deleted photos and messages public and use those posts against them in court. While the claims don’t make any sense, it hasn’t stopped people from posting about it.

Celebrities who posted the hoax include Usher, Judd Apatow, and Julia Roberts as did Rick Perry, the current United States secretary of energy and former Texas governor. Such memos have been going around in 2012 and this is the latest occurrence.

The copied-and-pasted note has been spreading over the past day, warning of supposed changes to Instagram’s privacy policy that’ll give Instagram the power to “use your photos” in various ways without consent. The note also includes an opt-out message that claims to forbid Instagram from using a person’s information or “disclosing, copying, distributing, or taking” any action against them based on what’s posted to their profile.

Instagram’s policies grant it some basic uses of your photos and messages because it needs permission to display them to other users. However, the company’s terms of service includes a line that states: “We do not claim ownership of your content, but you grant us a license to use it.” It also says you can end that license at any time “by deleting your content or account.”