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Catholic Connect suspended from Instagram for apparent copyright infringement

shutterstock_1381568114.jpg Credit: Nopparat Khokthong/Shutterstock.

Instagram this week suspended a popular Catholic account for apparent copyright violations.

Catholic Connect, an account sharing Catholic-themed content with a traditional bent aimed at young adults, was shut down Feb. 28 after Instagram notified its CEO of two copyright violations, the second of which did not appear to be related to anything Catholic Connect had shared.

Richy Orozco, CEO of Catholic Connect, told CNA that the first of the two copyright infringement complaints came from an Instagram account that had asked Catholic Connect to share one of its videos of a procession outside a Catholic church.

Orozco said he reached out to the account that owned the video immediately, but received no response.

A few hours later, Orozco says he got a second copyright infringement notification from Instagram, which showed him a small "preview" of the apparent offending material.

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Orozco said he did not recognize the content, which appeared to be a video, in the preview provided by Instagram. He says his team also did not recognize the content.

Soon after, Orozco got an email from Instagram saying Catholic Connect had violated copyright and that “you are no longer permitted to use Instagram.”

“Your account has been reported multiple times for violating someone else's rights. We previously warned you that if you continued to infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties, your account would be disabled,” the Feb. 28 notification email from Instagram, which Orozco shared with CNA, reads.

Instagram’s terms of use state that “We can refuse to provide or stop providing all or part of the Service to you...if you repeatedly infringe other people's intellectual property rights.”

Catholic Connect had shared some 5,000 posts while it was active, including many memes and videos, generally with attribution.

Orozco said Catholic Connect has received copyright infringement claims before, but the last one was "over a year ago."

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"That's why I wanted clarification from Instagram...it might not even be our content," he said.

"If that's so, then the account can be reinstated."

Catholic Connect’s account had some 273,000 followers when it was suspended, the organization says. Orozco and the account’s team have appealed the suspension to Instagram.

Catholic Connect has created a new account under the name of @CatholicConnect2.0, which is active as of March 1.

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