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Audio-sharing platform for musicians winds down due to takedown challenges

By | Published on Wednesday 31 July 2019

A website called Instaudio that allows artists to share their music with others as MP3 or WAV files is closing down, partly because of the amount of takedown requests it is now fielding from copyright owners whose music is being shared by users without permission.

Instaudio was always a grass roots project run by a single music maker and programmer who originally developed the tool so he could share his own music with friends. He then started making it available to other musicians in May 2013.

He confirmed that he was winding down the project earlier this week, citing various reasons, including the rising costs of running the service. But another reason is the ever-increasing number of users ignoring the message on the Instaudio upload page stating that people should only share audio in which they control the rights.

A statement confirming the closure notes: “The abuse situation has gotten to the point where I’m being threatened with ‘legal consequences’ and other such things [by labels and other rights owners] because, in those organisations’ judgment, I am ineffective at preventing infringing content from being distributed through Instaudio”.

Although Instaudio’s operator has always endeavoured to deal with takedown requests from rights owners, and developed some scripts to automate some of that process, the amount of unauthorised uploads and resulting takedown demands has made running the service on a non-commercial basis unviable.

The statement goes on: “I have always operated Instaudio in good faith, with the goal of letting musicians and other audio producers like myself share their works in progress with their peers, in a no-hassle way. Unfortunately good intent is always abused on the internet. To survive the abuse, websites need the resources to implement effective measures against it – measures that often lead to false positives, to the dismay of legitimate users. For many, Instaudio was a breath of fresh air from that sort of thing, but, alas”.