November 24, 2017:Telegram blocks channel after music-piracy complaint

Telegram blocks channel after music-piracy complaint

Sorry, at the time of writing Taylor Swift hasn’t put her new album ‘Reputation’ on streaming services as a post-Thanksgiving gift to fans.

Today’s Taylor story focuses on another aspect to the album’s rollout: cracking down on piracy. Messaging app Telegram has blocked one of the channels (i.e. messaging groups) on its service after a complaint about music – thought to be ‘Reputation’ – being illegally shared within it.

The ‘Any Suitable Pop’ channel was blocked by Telegram, but the twist reported by TorrentFreak is that the complaint didn’t come directly from Universal Music.

“Representatives of Apple and Google contacted us and made a complaint that your public channel @top_pop was violating intellectual property rights by publishing content owned by Universal Music,” explained the message from Telegram to the channel’s owner Anton Vagin.

Note no mention of ‘Reputation’ specifically, although Vagin claims that the album is “probably” the cause. Telegram founder Pavel Durov has also said that Google “ultimately demanded the blocking of this channel”.

It’s a useful insight into the strategies being adopted by rightsholders tackling piracy within messaging apps: the threat of being removed from app stores if they don’t block offending channels is unsurprisingly an effective one.

Stuart Dredge
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