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Apple and Google force Telegram to shut down Taylor Swift channel

TELEGRAM HAS taken the previously unprecedented step of closing down a whole channel – in this case, an unofficial Taylor Swift one – following pressure from Apple and Google. 

Telegram, like WhatsApp, uses end-to-end encryption, but it also allows for public channels that anyone can join too. The particular channel in question, according to TorrentFreak, was “Any Suitable Pop”, which had made Taylor Swift’s recent album ‘Reputation’ available to freely download. The open channel had just over 1,000 subscribers. 

What would normally happen in situations like this is that the record company – Big Machine Records – would send a takedown notice to Telegram informing them of the copyright infringement, with the expectation that Telegram would then take measures to stop the distribution. 

However, in this case, according to channel creator Anton Vagin, the music label skipped this step and went straight to Apple and Google to apply pressure, as those companies own the app stores from which Telegram can be downloaded. 

In a Russian news report, Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov said that “Google ultimately demanded the blocking of this channel”. 

While it’s the first time that pressure from Google and Apple has led to the direct blocking of a channel, it’s not the first time that artists have tried to protect their copyright in this way. 

A similar complaint was lodged against another Telegram channel called ‘Cello Case’, after Apple got in touch with the company to put pressure on the channel’s creator. 

However, in that instance, Telegram decided not to close the channel, and instead worked towards a resolution between the copyright holder and the channel owner. 

Previous attempts to block channels for sharing copyright material have often resulted in them still being accessible in the mobile app versions of the service. For “Any Suitable Pop” that’s not the case, and while the group still shows if you access it via the web, there are no messages in the chat anymore. µ

Source : Inquirer

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