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Instagram tries to force namechange on anti-littering app

Much like companies like King believe they have the rights to certain words, Instagram is claiming that only it has the right to have applications with the ‘gram' moniker at their end. In an attempt to defend that right, it's demanding that a British run anti-littering app known as Littergram, change its name or face legal action.

Littergram is an app that allows people to quickly and easily snap pictures of litter or fly tipping in their local area and then send it on to their local council to aid clean up. It helps beautify local areas and keeps them safe from dangerous rubbish like broken bottles or sharp metal.

When creator of the app, Danny Lucas, attempted to register his Littergram brand back at the end of 2015 though, he found himself under the scrutiny of Facebook's lawyers. The social network owns the Instagram photo-sharing platform and claimed in its communiqué that the name Littergram was simply not acceptable, since it “utilises and relies on social media usage.”

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Instagram believes that combining the “gram” portion of the Littergram name with its social functions, meant that there could be confusion over the ownership of the app. It has now given Lucas six months to change the name to something else.

While Lucas isn't about to go to court against a company worth tens of billions of dollars, he does hope that with a personal message to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg he'll be able to avoid a name change, which he said would undo all the hard work he'd put in to its popularisation.

Although Zuckerberg has yet to respond, Instagram has said it acknowledges the time, effort and funds put into Littergram by Mr Lucas, but that it stands by its demands.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: This is like King vs Stoic all over again. Instagram does not have a copyright for the term “gram,” or the Telegram app would also be something it wanted shut down. Considering what a good cause this is, why the need to censor it?

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