How to report serial copyright violator

There is a user who is just taking photos off the internet and posting them here, how do I report them?

1 Like

Probably best to send an email to email with all the details, so the admins can consider what actions to take from there.


On the web (no idea how to do it on the app):

  1. Hover over the photo until the “i” in a circle appears
  2. Click the “i”. A page with info on the photo appears.
  3. At the bottom of this page, under the photo specs, find & click the link that says “Flag this photo”.
  4. A popup will appear for you to select for the reason you are flagging it. In this case, you will choose "Copyright Infringement " and click okay.
  5. Optional, but I always do this: go back to the photo info page. Click on your flag. Leave a comment with why you believe the observer does not own the photo and/or a link to where you found the original photo. It makes it easier for the flag reviewer.
  6. Optional: leave a comment on the observation or send a DM explaining that using someone else’s photos is not allowed and linking to the TOS (or, more gently, to the FAQ: ). It may be that the user is new to iNat, a student or simply was unaware. We want to correct behaviors, not scare people away from the site.
  7. Repeat for each stolen photo.
    It takes a while to flag them all if they are a repeat offender, but the admins and curators do notice the flags.

Example of comments I leave on flagged photos:


What I’m curious about is why they’re doing it. Are they doing it as a spoof or purely because of their interest in what the plant is? :thinking: In my opinion, if it’s the latter and they provide the proper acknowledgements as well as have no location tagged, it shouldn’t be too big of an issue. Unless this goes against the guidelines.

1 Like

It’s not always obvious why someone is using copyrighted images, but they do need to be flagged and hidden. Many people don’t realize that posting images like that can be illegal, so it’s fair to give them to benefit of the doubt, use kind but clear language, and give them the opportunity to remove them.


I often stumble across pictures of signposts, books or pictures from presentations. The name of the species is often visible. I doubt that people who post that kind of stuff are just curious what species it is.

Probably just testing the app, not knowing what they’re doing matters to other people in any way. Some people don’t realize their photos are being uploaded to a public database.

Anyway the question was about how to report copyright infringement, so I think that’s been answered (thanks @star3 and @graysquirrel!)