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First off today, the AP is reporting that Instagram has said it will remove controversial language from its updated terms of service after a user outcry received widespread attention and lead some to delete their accounts. The language, which dealt with how Instagram could use user-uploaded photos in advertising, gave many the impression the service was planning on selling their photos to advertisers.
Instagram posted a clarification on its blog, saying that it had no plans to sell user photos but was merely exploring advertising models for the service as a way to earn revenue. However, this didn’t prevent an outcry from users, many of whom accused Instagram of being dishonest with its policies.
Though Instagram has backed away from the plan, the service, which is owned by Facebook, maintains that it is a business and it will be exploring advertising and other revenue-generation possibilities in the near future.
Next up today, Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing writes that a feminist group named FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, had their campaign promoting consent temporarily shuttered due to DMCA notices and other action taken by Victoria’s Secret. FORCE had been parodying Victoria’s Secret site and underwear for their PINK Loves CONSENT campaign, only to have DMCA notices sent to their host, resulting in the shut down of their site, and similar notices sent to Twitter, resulting in the temporary revocation of their Twitter account.
Neither the site nor the Twitter account were shuttered for long as FORCE was able to move the site to a new host and get its Twitter account reenabled quickly. However, the timing was damaging as the takedowns happened just prior to Victoria’s Secret fashion show, which FORCE was hoping to capitalize on.
FORCE is continuing the campaign and is planning new promotional stunts.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Digital Rights Corp, a company that specializes in sending out mass copyright notices to suspected infringers demanding small settlements, has applied for a patent on its system to earn money from cases of piracy.
The system works through the use of DMCA notices, which ISPs are obligated to forward on to their customers. This enables the company to contact suspected infringers without knowing who they are or having to subpoena the ISP for additional information. They then include a link to settle the infringement in the DMCA notice and, typically, charge $10 or $20 to settle the infringement.
Hoewver, Digital Rights Corp may face some challenges to the patent as the system has long been used by others as well. If successful, the patent could spell trouble for similar companies that would have to obtain a license from Digital Rights Corp to continue operation.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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