Screenshotting Snapchats Could Now End In Legal Action And Prison Time
*Slowly backs away from that Snap of the Biebs' bum*
Snapchat might be the best thing that's happen to the world since Simon Cowell gave birth to the band commonly known as One Direction, but the way you use it could have much more serious repurcussions than you ever imagined.
While we all know that sending rudey dudey messages isn't a great idea, it turns out that doing something as simple as screenshotting a snap sent to you by a friend could also have some pretty serious consequences - even if it isn't of anything at all x-rated.
This affects UK users in particular as over the weekend, Government culture minister Ed Vaizey warned that taking screenshots of messages without the permission of the person who sent you it and then sharing that image online actually counts as a form of copyright infringement.
With new apps and new ways to share information popping up every day, we're often faced with technologies which are so new that at first there's no adequate law to govern them correctly.
But while taking a grab of your friend's doodle of Justin Bieber might seem pretty innocent, Ed reckons that in doing so, you're technically infringing copyright and could be leaving yourself open to being sued, particularly if you then go on to use that image elsewhere.
"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," he said in a statement.
"The image owner would be able to sue anyone who does this for copyright infringement."
“However, Snapchat advises users to avoid sending messages which they would not want to be saved or shared.”
While snaps sent one-to-one have a short shelf life and expire in under 10 seconds, they are still open to being screenshotted and Ed further warns that anyone passing on images of a sexual nature without permission from the person in the photo could also face an additional prison sentence.
He explained: "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.
"Those convicted could face a maximum sentence of two years in prison."
With that in mind it's worth being ver careful not only what you send, but what you screenshot and distribute online.