UK's culture minister, Ed Vaizey, has warned that you could be using Snapchat illegally without realising it. Make sure you don't screenshot and share.
Snapchat’s messages are designed to be available for a limited time only, self-destructing after a matter of seconds. Some users, however, make them more permanent by taking a screenshot. It turns out that this is not only a breach of the unwritten rules of Snapchat, but it could also get you in trouble with the law.
The UK’s culture minister, Ed Vaizey, has warned that taking a screenshot of a Snapchat message and sharing it without the consent of the sender is illegal in the UK. When asked about the legality of Snapchat, he said, “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.”
While Snapchat advises users not to send messages that they wouldn’t want to be saved or shared, it is done. Vaizey added that those who share images of a sexual nature could face a prison sentence.
“The disclosure of private sexual photographs or films without the consent of an individual who appears in them and with intent to cause that individual distress, is an offence under Section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015,” he said.
“Those convicted could face a maximum sentence of two years in prison.”
While Irish copyright laws differ slightly, you should avoid screengrabbing and sharing Snapchat messages.