Instagram Won’t Sell Your Photos — Yet


Earlier this week, users of the social photo network Instagram were up in arms and then soothed, all in the span of days. The mobile-application company, which allows participants to share photos and recently launched an online interface, informed users that their photos may be used for advertising, but quickly changed their tune. However, despite backpedaling on their proposed service-terms changes, many users aren’t convinced that something similar won’t arise later, reports the New York Times, especially since Facebook purchased Instagram earlier this year.

Companies like Google, Twitter, Yelp and Facebook offer themselves as free services for users to store and share their most intimate pictures, secrets, messages and memories. But to flourish over the long term, they need to seek new ways to market the personal data they accumulate. They must constantly push the envelope, hoping users either do not notice or do not care.

So they sell ads against the content of an e-mail, as Google does, or transform a user’s likes into commercial endorsements, as Facebook does, or sell photographs of your adorable 3-year-old, which is what Instagram was accused of planning this week.

“The reality is that companies have always had to make money,” said Miriam H. Wugmeister, chair of Morrison Foerster’s privacy and data security group.

Even as Instagram was pulling back on its changed terms of service on Thursday night, it made clear it was only regrouping. After all, Facebook, as a publicly held corporation, must answer to Wall Street’s quarterly expectations.

Read more at the New York Times.

Band to Watch: Elle Varner

Backstory: Raised by songwriter parents, Varner grew up absorbing their Motown and Burt Bacharach records and tagging along to recording sessions. She sang in her church choir and attended a performing arts magnet school before moving east for college, where she studied at New York University’s Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music and signed a record deal soon after. Family Affair: Varner involved her parents on Perfectly Imperfect, co-writing songs with dad Jimmy (who also helped produce the album); and asking her mom, Mikelyn Roderick, a former backing singer for Barry White, to contribute vocals to “Sound Proof Room.”



John Legend Song for ‘Django Unchained’ Is ‘About Retribution’


John Legend was holed up in a London recording studio with Paul Epworth, at work on his next album (due in May), when he was inspired to pen a song for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained soundtrack. “I had been reading about the film, very early on when it was in development, and I knew I wanted to write something for it,” Legend told Rolling Stone. “But he didn’t ask me to write it. Still, Djangos soundtrack is the first time Tarantino has collaborated with artists to produce original songs for a film. The list includes tracks by Jamie Foxx and Rick Ross, Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton, Ennio Morricone and Elisa, and a James Brown and Tupac mashup, plus a smattering of archive-dives (like one from Jim Croce) that come from the director’s own collection, complete with pops and scratches.

James Brown and 2Pac, ‘Unchained (‘The Payback’/’Untouchable’) – Song Premiere

“When word got out what the movie was about, we discovered that it was actually inspiring artists to write songs with soul that underscored the love story and the revenge story,” Django‘s music supervisor, Mary Ramos, said by email. Foxx brought Ross to the set to write “100 Coffins,” Hamilton and Boynton were inspired by the trailers, and Ramos’ crew dug through the Tupac vaults and teamed up with the James Brown estate to produce a new song. Frank Ocean even wrote what Tarantino called “a fantastic ballad,” but it didn’t work with the film’s final cut. “There just wasn’t a scene where it could be really featured,” Ramos said. “Quentin didn’t want to cheapen the song by just shoehorning it in, and wouldn’t use it unless it could be really be heard, and used effectively to really amplify the emotional content of a scene.”

In Legend’s sweaty, soulful “Who Did That to You,” hardcore R&B fans will recognize the grimy, funky lead-in from the Mighty Hannibal’s 1967 single “The Right to Love You.” “The samples and different musical elements that Paul was bringing in, it just felt like we were in a creative space to create something that would be cool for Quentin,” Legend said. “The sample had some of the flavor of the kind of music that I associate with Tarantino movies. It’s really cool, it’s almost campy, and it’s got a sort of vintage to it.”