Instagram Take-Down

One minute my Instagram account was up, the next minute it was Instagone.  So what happened?  It goes something like this….

I created an Instagram account to share pictures of guitars and the work that I do.  Some pics were of incoming guitars that were going to be for sale, some were of my own personal guitars, some were of the various tools that I use in my guitar building and repairs, some were of the actual repairs and modifications as they were happening, and some were of various tips and tricks that I like to share with the guitar builder/repair/do-it-yourself community.  I also posted pictures of a number of Rockville guitars in various stages of production.

I generally don’t participate in social media, but I got a lot of positive feedback from people on Instagram and I was becoming part of the community among other builders and guitar techs.  That is until my Instagram account got shut down due to “trademark infringement”.  Apparently some group called Yellow Brand Protection, hoping to score a few bucks from Fender, tagged four of my pictures as infringing on Fender’s trademarks for body and headstock designs.  The four pictures were of Rockville guitar parts that were being prepped for paint and finishing. This group wouldn’t have known that I paid a license fee, brokered by a third party, to Fender for the use of their body and headstock shapes, but that didn’t stop them from tagging them.  With Instagram it’s 4 strikes and you’re out apparently, because my account got shut down as a result.

It gets better…

Instagram doesn’t have a customer service group, nor do they have any means to contact them when your account gets disabled or hacked or whatever.  Their site says to contact the party claiming the infraction directly and if they can be swayed to change their mind, they will notify Instagram to re-enable your account.  So I contacted Yellow Brand Protection multiple times and got zero response.  I also contacted Fender and got no response from them either.

With no other options, I had to create a new account.  Oh, but wait, when your Instagram account gets shut down they also tag your IP address and any attempts to create a new account are blocked.  It’s like a bad burrito that gets you over and over.  I was eventually able to create a new account under Rockville Custom Guitars and it will focus primarily on Rockville content and some other bench work.  Find it here: https://www.instagram.com/rockvilleguitars/