Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nothing Illegal Here!

Here's interesting piece of news courtesy of Pitchfork.com, that may or my not affect the future of this TDIT (from February 10, 2010):

Over the course of the past day, the Google-owned blogging service Blogger has shut down a number of popular mp3 blogs, including Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, I Rock Cleveland, LivingEars, and It's a Rap. If you follow the links to any of those blogs, you'll see that they've been wholesale deleted. All you'll find is the Blogger message, "The blog you were looking for was not found." The apparent reason? The music posted on the blogs allegedly violates Blogger's terms of services.

The bloggers whose sites were affected are currently trying to understand the situation. Many of them argue that they have followed the rules and taken down unauthorized songs when asked in the past. They say they received no warnings prior to the removal of their blogs. The Daily Swarm has compiled a few blogger responses to the situation.

Google rebuttals with this response (Pitchfork February 11, 2010):

Over the past few days, the Google-owned blogging service Blogger has been deleting a number of popular mp3 blogs. After news of the removals circulated, Google's Blogger Buzz blog issued a statement. (Via the Daily Swarm.)

It said, "When we receive multiple DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] complaints about the same blog, and have no indication that the offending content is being used in an authorized manner, we will remove the blog".

The post points out that the company's usual policy when receiving a DMCA complaint is to notify the offending blogger and to reset the offending post to "draft" status to allow the blogger to delete it. The post also acknowledged that the company sometimes gets DMCA complaints about material that a blogger is actually legally allowed to use, like the authorized mp3s that publicists and record label marketing departments send out for promotional purposes. "If this happens to you, it is imperative that you file a DMCA counter-claim so we know you have the right to the music in question. Otherwise, if we receive multiple DMCA complaints for your blog, this could very well constitute repeat offenses, compelling us to take action."

The statement doesn't explain why so many blogs were removed in such a short period of time.

First of all, I should state I have posted copyrighted material on this blog in the past, including advance copies of albums that weren't available yet. That's a big no-no, as large record labels are extra touchy about leaked content getting heard before it's release date. I've had a 2 requests from the DMCA to remove content they deemed were a violation and I've complied with all their requests and deleted those posts. But, on one other of my posts, it just disappeared without warning and without sending me a request. Since those incidents, I've been more cautious not to post full-albums of popular major label releases, instead sticking to smaller label, out-of-print, import, unreleased and live recordings. I post songs, albums and shows because I love the music and want as many people as possible to listen. If I was in a band, I would embrace the extra exposure that good music blogs offer and it gives the fans an opportunity to share and sample the music.

I think a lot of bloggers are worried their hard work, writing, promoting and sharing will be wiped out without notice and without recovery, years of writing gone! I've read on a couple of blogs that they have been backing up their posts on MS word doc, Wordpress, Dreamhost or moving everything to their own domain in fear their blog will be removed. I've given this issue much thought and it isn't so much an issue of legality and moral stands because Blogger and Google technically own all the content, it's more of protecting what I've already written, as it's been my music diary for the last past years.

As a disclaimer I should re-emphasize that if you're an artist that appears on this blog and would like to have something removed, please let me know and I'll address your concerns ASAP. In the future I will be extra careful what I post, but regardless I'll try to keep it as interesting as possible without watering down the content.

p.s. Another interesting article about the issue of illegal downloading of copyright material and peer to peer sharing was in this weekend's Winnipeg Free Press. Kamal Dhillon was the winner of Glassen Ethics Competition with the topic, "Is It OK to download music, movies and games without paying?" Kamal's essay was titled, "Not Wrong, Just Illegal". For a thought-provoking read, follow this link to the Free Press site. Let me know your thoughts on the issue.

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page