Advertising on Instragram - Any Legal Issues?


We recently launched our forum, and created an instagram account to advertise it.

The forum is meant to be used by students who are studying for a high level exam. To advertise, we would like to take questions that students post on the forum, and upload them to instagram so that our followers can “see what types of questions are being asked”.

Is the content of the forum something that the forum owners/hosters have property over, or is this something that legally we are not allowed to do?


This depends on the terms of service you have setup for your users, for example — Terms of Service - Discourse Meta

Unless you changed the wording here when you installed Discourse, the user content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which you can read more about at the link included in the default ToS:

User contributions are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, company_short_name has the right (though not the obligation) to, in company_short_name’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in company_short_name’s reasonable opinion, violates any company_short_name policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason, in company_short_name’s sole discretion. company_short_name will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.


It’s worth pointing out that many exam boards don’t allow their past papers/questions to be reproduced on the internet. You could run into copyright issues without realizing it, first for hosting the questions against their terms and secondly for offering them under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Thanks for the feedback.

The past exams/solutions are currently available online for free as PDF. We received permission to put them on our forum.

I don’t quite follow what you mean by “offering them under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License”. Can you please clarify?


As @awesomerobot already said, look at /tos on your install, specifically section 3, it determines the license under which the content you publish is made available.

Make sure you aren’t offering their content under a different license to that which the exam board published them to begin with.

Earlier you said the students would be posting the questions to the forum, now you’re saying they’re available online for free as PDF. Is this free source the publisher? What terms do they provide the downloads under?