Instagram Hates the Internet

Instagram Uses DMCA Complaint to "Protect" Users' "Copyrighted Works"

The anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA allow companies that own or provide access to copyrighted works to target tools and systems that facilitate access to that content in an unauthorized manner. [...]

This week Facebook-owned Instagram entered the arena when it filed a DMCA notice against code repository Github. It targeted Instagram-API, an independent Instagram API created by a Spain-based developer known as 'mgp25'. [...]

"Back in the day I wasn't able to use Instagram on my phone, and I wanted something to upload photos and communicate with my friends. That's why I made the API in the first place," he explains. [...]

"I think reverse engineering should be exempt from the DMCA and should be legal. By reverse engineering we can verify whether apps are violating user privacy, stealing data, backdooring your device or doing even worse things," he says. "Without reverse engineering we wouldn't know whether the software was a government spy tool. Reverse engineering should be a right every user should have, not only to provide interoperability functionalities but to assure their privacy rights are not being violated." [...]

After the filing of the complaint, it took a couple of days for Github to delete the project but it is now well and truly down. The same is true for more than 1,500 forks of Instagram-API that were all wiped out after their URLs were detailed in the same complaint.

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10 Responses:

  1. Derpatron9000 says:

    The rot continues, if you work for Facebook you should feel bad, and consider doing something less shitty.

  2. phuzz says:

    I read that first line as "anti-circumcision provisions of the DMCA", which put an entirely different cast on the whole article.

  3. Karellen says:

    $ wget -q -O - --server-response https://github.com/mgp25/Instagram-API 2>&1 | head -n 1
    HTTP/1.1 451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons

    Nice.

  4. MJ says:

    "From Facebook": that's the message that greets you at the bottom of the app when it loads now. I wish there was another place to follow artists that they actually used.

    • Aidan Gauland says:

      Are artists not using DeviantArt?

      • Pavel says:

        For any given question of the form "Does X use Facebook more than Y?", the answer is almost always "Yes, unfortunately" :(

        Deviant and ArtStation are still pretty good, though.

      • Ash says:

        There are still some great artists on DeviantArt, especially from when it first started. However, if you tell someone you're on DeviantArt now, they're going to assume you draw furry porn or amateur manga.

        Professional artists (including tattoo artists, comic artists, and most other visual art) are expected have an Instagram account. Even if you have your own website, people will still look for you on Instagram expecting to see sketches at the very least.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think reverse engineering should be exempt from the DMCA

    You don't want reverse engineering to be "exempt" from DMCA. Why? Because DMCA explicitly protects reverse engineering.

    DMCA has for better or worse become synonymous with the shitty anti-circumvention parts of the Act with the given name, but DMCA actually has some good parts. Among them are the aforementioned explicit protection for reverse engineering. DMCA also includes the very, very good enshrinement of the safe harbor legal doctrine.

    The anti-circumvention parts are, of course, total horsehit.

    Sorry, drunk.

  6. Philippe97 says:

    So now, how are you gonna find the signing keys?

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