Google deleting music bloggers' posts without warning

According to the LA Weekly, music bloggers have been surprised to find their posts disappearing.

It all started when Ryan Spaulding, producer of the site Ryan's Smashing Life, noticed last November that some of his archived posts--and even some of his newer ones--that contained copyrighted materials had vanished from his site. Spaulding was nonplussed, as he had written the posts in response to press releases sent to him by record labels. He began contacting the creators of other music blogs and found that some were having similar problems.

In fact, all of the bloggers who were having posts deleted had their blogs hosted on Google's Blogger/Blogspot. Normally when Google believes that infringing content has been posted to their sites, they contact the bloggers with a warning letter. But now they seem to be deleting posts on the sly.

What is even more surprising is that Spaulding and others who have been targetted were not, they believe, infringing anyone's copyrights. Rather, they were passing on press-released information and content to their readers.

Spaulding told the LA Weekly, "I'd received the labels' press releases and followed their directions, spending my time and energy to promote their albums. By pulling down my post, they destroyed my intellectual creativity, the very same thing they're erroneously accusing me of doing. I'm not leaking albums, not putting up three mp3s. Just the one they wanted. And they start erasing everything, with the threat of a lawsuit. People are afraid."

According to Techdirt, the RIAA sends Google lists of URLs they believe to contain infringing materials, and Google then responds. Google says that, while they do often send warning letters in response to complaints from copyright-holders, they do not claim that they will always send such letters. Rather, they are free to delete at will. Their actions have led some music bloggers to defect to other hosting sites.

Techdirt concludes that either (a) the RIAA is potentially abusing the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and its "takedown notice" provisions or (b) its members have promotions personnel who are clearly not talking to their legal departments.

The story itself has even found its way into the music magazine Rolling Stone.

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16 Comments

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Welcome to Evil. There's a thing known as backing up. If your blog posts are important to you and you don't want to get journalspaced.

This is just one step closer to mass censorship on the internet. Here's the things, what sort of international laws govern what you can and can not put on the web. On top of that Google is an American based company, and the RIAA was founded and operates out of America. So what right do they have deleting posts in other counties? I mean correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that the RIAA has the right to **** all over free speech just if it "suspects" copyright infringement, or whatever bull**** excuses it can come up with to censor people.

Funny how the labels themselves leak lots and lots of EPs to various people so that they can spread it on the net even before the tracks are officially released, and now Google is deleting them. :laugh:

The latest example that comes to mind is Dash Berlin's newest cooperative work with Matt Cerf, Shawn Mitiska and Jaren, Man On The Run. The track (the whole EP actually) is already available on various sites/blogs, even though the official release date is 16/02/2009. :)

EDIT: Fixed something.

People - expect your whole Gmail mailboxes deleted without warning one day because Google wanted so.

tom5 said,
People - expect your whole Gmail mailboxes deleted without warning one day because Google wanted so.

Mmmm scaremongering. Delicious. So turn on IMAP and archive your GMail in your favorite mail application.

Vlad said,
Mmmm scaremongering. Delicious. So turn on IMAP and archive your GMail in your favorite mail application.

In fact i backup my account regularly . Google can delete a account if you break the rules, the problem is those google rules are ambiguous, for example they can delete a account if you use gmailfs, also if you "overuse" your email. The worst part is they delete the account at once and without a advice or a warning.

The account of a friend was blocked by Google a couple of days because Google whim, and there aren't a phone number that you can call about this issue.

Vlad said,
Mmmm scaremongering. Delicious. So turn on IMAP and archive your GMail in your favorite mail application.

So what's the point of GMail?

Well, what did they expect? All the RIAA big names are working on Obama's team. They can enforce more pressure on the internet now. And they seem to be targeting Google and want it to pay for everything, so Google better comply.

God I hate the Internet sometimes.

There is no evidence of any connection between Obama's new team (which admittedly has some RIAA biggies), and this recently example of copyright gone wrong. This crap has been going on in many other areas BEFORE Obama took office (eg. YouTube vids taken down).

This is a serious issue of course, as it jeopardizes the ability to use the Internet as a free speech medium, so the last thing we need are people giving over-reactive opinions.

EDIT: Oh, and some people say that the "cloud" is coming and anyone who insists on resisting putting their content solely on the cloud is going to find themselves left out or something. It's this kind of crap which reminds me why having my reports and work on my OWN drives is worth more than trusting a corporation to keep it alive.