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I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the big stink being raised over Instagram’s new terms & policies set to go into effect on Jan. 16th. If you haven’t, please familiarize yourself. In short, as the policy is currently written, Instagram would have the right to sell any photos you upload to their service without paying you anything or even letting you know that your photo was being sold or used.

When I first heard about this my initial reaction was utter disgust, and indeed I planned on deleting my account if the policies weren’t changed from what was written. But I also felt pretty confident that it must have been simply some overzealous and greedy lawyers and executives from Facebook writing blanket statements into the policies, and that it wouldn’t be long before they responded by changing the proposed policy. Thankfully, Instagram responded to the outcry today in a blog post titled “Thank you, and we’re listening.” It seems that most if not all of the clauses that pissed everyone off will be removed. The most important thing to take from their statement is this:

Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period.

And this:

Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.

As a photographer who makes part of my living from photos and licensing their usage, I am hyper-aware of the copyright issues and legalities involved in photography and of how corporations, media, and other establishments are constantly trying to find ways to avoid paying for usage of creative work. I absolutely would not have continued using Instagram if the original policy change had gone into effect. I also had visions of the crumbling Instagram empire, as the backlash would’ve been pretty widespread, whilst other services such as Twitter and Flickr are launching their own photo-sharing apps/features, complete with Instagram-like filters. Hipsters everywhere would have cried a sea of vintage filtered tears until one of the other services (my guess would’ve been Flickr) took over as the king photo filter/sharing app. It remains to be seen what the new version of the policies & terms of use will look like, but I have a feeling it will keep everyone happy, and not rip off the user base. But Instagram/Facebook, be warned- I’ll be looking at the new policies & terms of use very carefully and if you try to pull anything remotely similar to this, SHAME ON YOU and I will be GONE.

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Not much in the music realm today: The biggest thing I read was that Jack White is planning a solo album…. I swear the guy must be a glutton for punishment. How can anyone be in 3 bands, run a record label, and still have time for a solo project? He’s a machine. That’s the only explanation.

Also of interest- How I Became the Bomb will be teaming up with Kindercastle for quite an undertaking: covering ELO’s Out of the Blue in it’s entirety on June 26th at Mercy Lounge. Obviously these two local bands are heavily influenced by ELO- HIBTB in the use of vocoders and Kindercastle in their use of thick orchestral string arrangements. According to the calendar both bands will be onstage along with an eight-piece string section. That means 16 people onstage y’all. That means this will be seriously EPIC y’all.

If you’re a Twitterer, you might find Tweemap interesting. It plots all of your followers on a map for you. Kind creepy but kinda cool…

EcoGeek reports on the first easily attainable wind power generator for the home. It mounts on your roof and generates 2,000 kWh per year, which is about 18% of the average household’s energy requirement. It ain’t cheap ($4500 plus up to $1500 installation) but apparently you can get some serious tax credits and discounts due to the stimulus bill and other statewide incentives. This makes me very happy. If I owned a house and could even come close to affording the unit, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

The National Weather Service has said that conditions are favorable for an El Nino pattern to form over the equatorial pacific ocean this summer. We haven’t had a strong El Nino in a while, so I fully expected one to develop this fall. The good thing is that El Nino ultimately leads to more wind shear in the areas where hurricanes normally develop, which makes it harder for them to develop/strengthen. But it also means more rain in the US southeast, and slightly above-average temperatures during the winter. However, most areas of the southeast have been experiencing a drought for many years now, so more rain is not necessarily a bad thing. For more info on exactly how El Nino works go here.

I love dinosaurs. We all love dinosaurs. They’re pretty awesome because they ruled this planet for several million years, compared to about 200,000 for humans. When we first discovered their remains, we thought they were related to reptiles. Then after some more discoveries and research, we thought they actually had more in common with modern day birds, and even that modern birds may have descended from dinosaurs. Now that last theory has had some pretty big holes shot through it. Turns out the bone structure of birds’ femur provides a major clue that birds simply evolved parallel to the dinosaurs, not from them. Via Science Daily. Read more if you’re interested.

Back tomorrow, and then that will be it for a while as I’ll be photographing at Bonnaroo all weekend.

So I read on Billboard that Girl Talk is exprimenting with actual songs of his own. Wow. That’s a big move for him, really… I’m intrigued as to what it will sound like. It’s hard to gauge what the perception of this will be. Something makes me think that even if it’s good, it may be perceived as a flop because he’s so established in what he does now. A band is always “known for something” and Girl Talk is known for mashups. He’s a remixer/mashup artist… and arguably the most successful of his genre/niche. That’s different that being a musician who creates/writes their own music. We’ll see what happens. Can’t wait to see him at Bonnaroo this year. I feel like in a festival setting, it’ll be even more off-the-chain than at the Cannery.

The Oklahoma Governor signed an executive order declaring the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize?” the official state rock song. The public overwhelmingly voted in favor of the song, but it fell just short of passing in the state congress. The executive order overruled, however, and the song is now official. Awesome! Pitchfork has the full story.

Apparently Yahoo’s GeoCities is closing down this year… GeoCities still exists? Does Angelfire still exist? Does AOL still exist?

Ok I have to put these videos relatively high in the post. I found these via this post on Kottke.org this morning. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I almost fell out of my chair. AUTOTUNED BABIES!!!!!

Ok now that’s over with… KITTEHZ IN BOXEZ!!!!

Cuteness over…. now for what’s going down this weekend. I’ll probably be attending the final Friday version of Coach Vs. Kase at 12th & Porter. I’ve yet to experience one of these events, and for the first time in months I don’t have something else to shoot/attend.

Also on Friday- Shoot the Mountain w/ Umbrella Tree and Brenn @ Mercy Lounge.

For Saturday- Megan will be joining me and we may end up at the free outdoor show @ Bobbie’s Dairy Dip featuring Vermicious K’nids and Danger & the Steelcut Oats. Never heard of the latter, like the former.

On Sunday I’ll be attending/shooting the Cursive/Man Man show @ Mercy Lounge. Megan is a big Cursive fan and I’ve heard Man Man is quite an experience live, so I look forward to photographing them.

Just one interesting tidbit from the technology world… apparently a guy has figured out a way to send his thoughts directly to Twitter. I don’t know if this is utterly amazing or utterly terrifying. It could be a life-saver for people with severe neural injuries who are unable to communicate, that’s for certain….

Have a great weekend!

So tonight I’m heading off to SXSW with my bandmate Seth Graves, Ryan Bruce from the Deli Nashville, and possibly Seth’s friend Carmen. There have been a lot of last-minute plan changes, which is par for the course in all things SXSW-related. But if travel goes as planned, we’ll be driving all night and arriving Wed. morning. We’ll drop some shit off at the house we’re sub-letting for the weekend and then the festivities shall begin. I have no idea how much or often I’ll be able to blog, so don’t expect too much. I will be updating my facebook and twitter stati, so if you’re my friend on facebook or follow me on twitter, those are the way to go. I will be, as usual, photographing for the Scene, and slideshows should be appearing on Nashville Cream daily, so be sure to check there first for pics.

Now for a few quick links:

You can buy a LOST Dharma Initiative jumpsuit on Ebay. For the obsessed LOST fans only. I sure as hell don’t have 85 bucks to shell out for something like that.

The Pixies are back. Though, I must say I really don’t understand this band photo. They look awkwardly posed, and… is Frank Black about to go to the gym for a workout? Head to the park for a jog? WTF?

In all the doom and gloom predictions of global warming, there is one discovery that’s slightly comforting- the Greenland ice sheet may not pass the proverbial “tipping point” quite as soon as they originally thought. The tipping point is the point at which the sheet is 100% guaranteed to melt completely. The research shows that the ice sheet should be able to withstand a global temperature increase of more than 3 degrees Celsius. Of course, some of the ice will still melt and contribute to overall sea level rise. Via the Daily Galaxy.

Lot’s of quick-hitters today. I have too much crap to do at work and a bunch of preparation for SXSW. The main thing to note today is that I’ve finally joined the Twitter party. Follow me and I’ll follow you!

Strobist has a cool post about a fascinating mouse trap devised by PocketWizard inventor/engineer Jim Clark. It first captured images of the mouse in action, then captured the mouse’s descent into the humane trap devised by Mr. Clark. He then kept the mouse as a pet during the winter months, and freed it in the spring. Awww…

For some more “awwww-ness,” check out Oddee.com’s post about 10 amazing dogs.

Hipster Runoff tells you exactly what SXSW is gonna be like. SRSLY.

THE MCGANGBANG. Enough said.

Apparently a bat tried to hitch a ride on the Space Shuttle’s external fuel tank just before launch Sunday. It posed no threat since it was on the side opposite the shuttle. In case you live under a rock, Discovery did finally blast off Sunday night and is now on its way to the ISS to put the final major US component in place.

And finally…. LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS!!!!

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