Thursday, 11 February 2010

Doesn't Matter, Copyright's Ambiguous

Well, 'squeaky bum' time in the world of music blogs today - particularly those of us in bed with Blogger - as sites both large and small have been unceremoniously deleted by Google in recent days. For a quick summary of events thus far, check out The Guardian's story.

H-T-A, as with many music blogs, supports purchases of original music with links to the full albums. Often this comes with an opportunity to sample the music from a single track, made available for a limited time. These are promotional tracks for the most part, okayed by the band, PR firm, or record label. Even when not directly received from these sources, the tracks posted are hosted by a legitimate source and linked to from this blog.

MP3: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Buy it at Insound!

A couple of occasions last year when this was not the case - and prompted by DMCA take downs - led to this approach. Since then, I have received another couple of notifications for the same post and simply removed all non-text content from it, as the notices make no specific reference to the offending item. Furthermore, as becomes clear as you read the various reactions to this development in the blogging world, it seems anyone can claim copyright violation in this way to remove content - approved or otherwise - with a shoot first, ask questions later mentality being applied in every case.

I wanted to post this as a rolling resource for anyone interested in the argument to keep track of insights and reaction to what is being hashtagged on old Twitter as #MusicBlogocide2k10 (I know I know, urgh, but it's out there now). Please add to the comments if you have something of interest and I'll include in the main post to bump it up.

In the meantime, if anyone is on Blogger then get backing up your content if you hadn't already done so and start considering alternative like Wordpress or your own web host. How far this will go in the long term is open to question but, in the short term, deserting this sinking ship would seem to be a prudent move. 

    UPDATE [2/13/10]: One of the blogs mentioned in the Guardian piece, Massala, has now been reinstated and some Blogger grovelling received in apology. It appears this one was an error, although I Rock Cleveland remains down despite many reports referencing the DMCA violations being erroneous.

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