April 18, 2016 me_charity

Screenshotting & sharing Snapchat messages can get you a prison sentence

According to Digital Economy and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, it’s illegal to screenshot Snapchat messages and share them to others without the original owner’s consent. He said the original sender could sue for copyright infringement and the infringer could face a prison sentence.

Snapchat is a social network and messaging service that’s quite unique from other messaging apps. The sent video clips and images disappear after a set amount of time, although a lot of people have found a way around it. The secret to having your own permanent copy is to screenshot the messages and saving them.

Snapchat logo (source: idigitaltimes.com)

Snapchat logo (source: idigitaltimes.com)

Vaizey warned “Under UK copyright law, it would be unlawful for a Snapchat user to copy an image and make it available to the public without the consent of the image owner.”

“The image owner would be able to sue anyone who does this for copyright infringement.”

“Snapchat photos are automatically deleted after 10 seconds. The Snapchat privacy policy states that if Snapchat is able to detect that a recipient has taken a screenshot of an image, they will try to inform the original poster.”

“However, Snapchat advises users to avoid sending messages which they would not want to be saved or shared.”

With the time-limited nature of Snapchat’s messages, users often use it to share explicit photos. The sad thing is that their followers can save their copy of these photos and distribute them without the owner’s permission. Keep in mind, copyright infringement itself could get you a 10-year prison sentence with or without a fine, however in magistrates’ court, this is restricted to 6 months in prison and £50,000 fine. For more information about copyright protection, visit our blog or contact Maverickeye’s customer support.

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