Google Is Being Evil, Music Bloggers Say

Some music blogs skirt the edges of legality (and some completely ignore it) when it comes to posting mp3 files of their favorite songs. But a number of popular music blogs say Google deleted their blogs without warning, despite the fact that they had the legal right to post the songs they did — in many cases because they were given the tracks by record labels themselves as a promotional effort.

According to The Guardian, among the music blogs that have been deleted (all of which used Google’s Blogger platform) are Masalacism, I Rock Cleveland, To Die By Your Side, It’s A Rap and Living Ears. Each now brings up a “blog not found” message (Living Ears has put up a new blog here). One blog, Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, has put up a separate WordPress-based (please see disclosure at the bottom) site to mirror the deleted one, with a post that states:

Sorry for the mass nature of this little note, but as you may have noticed my blog – http://poptartssucktoasted.blogspot.com – was murdered by the villainous conglomerate known as Goggle (Blogger) yesterday morning. due to copyright infringement or however they want to spin.

The publisher of I Rock Cleveland, meanwhile, has posted a comment in the Blogger support forum asking why his blog was deleted, and noting that the blog has never posted anything but legally acquired tracks:

Today I received notice that I had been found in violation of DMCA regulations and my blog had been deleted. However, without knowing which post had been in violation I have no way of knowing what caused the violation and whether I can defend myself against the allegation…I assure you that everything I’ve posted for, let’s say, the past two years, has either been provided by a promotional company, came directly from the record label, or came directly from the artist.

Google’s deletion of these blogs is just the latest episode in what has been an ongoing battle involving bloggers, Google, record labels and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As the official Google Blogger response to the latest incident notes, a similar series of deletions occurred last year, causing an uproar in the music blogging community. Google responded by updating how it responds to DMCA complaints, but the latest incidents clearly show that the process is still not working properly, as Mike Masnick at Techdirt points out.

Many of the music bloggers whose blogs were deleted say they didn’t receive proper warnings that deletion would be occurring, and in many cases the DMCA notices they received didn’t even specify which songs were the subject of the complaint, making it impossible to rectify the situation (which involves a complicated series of steps prescribed by the copyright legislation) to avoid deletion. If nothing else, this kind of behavior might speed the emigration of more bloggers from Google’s lagging Blogger platform to WordPress, Tumblr or other competitors.

Disclosure: GigaOM and WordPress owner Automattic have a common investor, True Ventures. Om is a venture partner in True Ventures.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user cotidad

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