Instagram drops from 40 million to 17 million active users in one month

Instagram loses half it’s active users.

At the end of 2012, Instagram changed its Terms of Service (ToS) and it has proved far more calamitous for the Facebook-owned Photo app than first imagined. According to new data, Instagram appears to have lost half of its active users in a month.



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Google gets 2.5 million copyright removal requests every week

Google has been acting as a copyright cop.

Google reports that in the past six months it’s takedown too for search results has grown tenfold.  Around 250,000 requests a week went through the system when it started publicly posting takedown notices in May — which lets people or companies ask Google to remove links that infringe on their copyright. Now, that number has jumped to over 2.5 million a week. That’s a huge change, but not an unprecedented one, as requests have been increasing rapidly for the past several years. Back in May, Google reported that the 250,000 requests it received in a week were more than it got for the entirety of 2009.



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Legitimate e-book lending site taken down by angry authors

A pack of digital authors ganged up on a useful site that connected e-book consumers and shut them down.

The process of lending an e-book is complicated and much of it is a result of conflicting DRM locks and platforms as well as a reluctance on the part of publishers to allow their books to be loaned. But authors can also be a roadblock when it comes to lending, and we’ve just had a classic example of how that can happen with the brouhaha over LendInk, a service that allowed readers to connect with others in order to share e-books. The site has effectively been put out of business by a virtual lynch mob of authors claiming it breached their rights, even though what it was doing was perfectly legal.



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U.S. backs copyright “limitations”


The US government learns that copyright maximalism won’t work as ACTA withers.

In San Diego last week,  another negotiating round began for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. To the amazement of everyone, the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced on July 3 it would now include a provision in the intellectual property (IP) chapter recognizing the importance of “limitations and exceptions” to copyright and embracing the international 3-part test for what constitutes suitable limitations and exceptions. (For those not familiar with this term of art, “limitations and exceptions” are things like Fair Use and First Sale Doctrine in the United States. As the name implies, limitations and exceptions to copyright limit the rights of the copyright holder and create exceptions to the general rule against copying without permission.)

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New tarriffs on music approved in Canada


Wedding costs in Canada will double if you dance.

The Copyright Board of Canada reviews copyright tariffs for various collection societies (like ASCAP and BMI in America, which collect performance licensing fees from venues).  They have just approved a new set of fees to cover recorded music at a bunch of different live events. Karaoke bars, conventions, parades, weddings and several other classes of event—which already pay fees to SOCAN, which represents songwriters—will now begin paying additional tariffs to collection society Re:Sound, which represents recording artists and labels.

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ACTA Leaks — Again


Controversial Secrets Unveiled From The ACTA

With the latest round of secret negotiations over ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, concluded last week in Switzerland, it was only a matter of time until the full text of the treaty’s current draft leaked into the public domain, which it has duly done.

ACTA is an extreme copyright treaty that threatens to establish a world of border iPod and laptop searches for infringing music and movies; jail sentences for downloading; universal network surveillance; and whole-house Internet disconnection orders served on ISPs against customers who are accused (without proof) of violating copyright law…

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20,000 US BitTorrent Users Sued; 30,000 More Lawsuits Pending

lawsuit 1342

Are you gonna be sued next for downloading movies?

The number of Americans targetted by entertainment industry lawsuits nearly doubled this month, as the the US Copyright Group (“an ad hoc coalition of independent film producers and with the encouragement of the Independent Film & Television Alliance”) brought suit against 20,000 BitTorrent users. 30,000 more lawsuits are pending, bringing the total number of US entertainment industry lawsuit defendants up to 80,000 (when you include the 30,000 victims of the RIAA).

This beatings-will-continue-until-morale-improves gambit is puzzling to me. It seems likely to me that most of these defendants will settle for several thousand dollars (regardless of their guilt) rather than risk everything by hiring a lawyer to defend themselves. But does the “US Copyright Group” really think that Americans will go back to the mall with their credit-cards in hand once their friends’ lives have been ruined by litigation?

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Google To Talk With China’s Copyright Watchdog Over Copyright Violations


Search engine giant Google is sending a representative to China this week to talk with the country’s copyright watchdog.  The move is designed to cool Chinese authors’ heated complaints against the company over copyright violations, a Google senior executive said yesterday.


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A Novel Idea


So much for copyright issues

It promises to bring the world of literature to the ordinary book-buyer at the touch of a button.

In the time it takes to brew a cappuccino, this machine can print off any book that is not in stock from a vast computer database.

The innovation, launched by book chain Blackwell yesterday, removes the need to order a hard-to-find novel, or the wait to buy one that has sold out. Continue reading… “A Novel Idea”