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Google Music The Courts Technology

Overzealous Enforcement Means Even Legit Music Blogs Deleted 240

Posted by timothy
from the let-god-sort-'em-out dept.
AnotherUsername writes "Recently, many [Google-hosted] music blogs were deleted for hosting mp3s of songs by various artists. The problem? The music blogs in question had been given permission to host the songs, and often, the older links to mp3s were often broken intentionally by the bloggers in order to save bandwidth. From the article: 'You're reading this right: Five years of Lipold's labor of love was deleted, in part, because he posted a track with full permission of a label, and the track apparently wasn't even online by the time the IFPI filed its complaint.'"
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Overzealous Enforcement Means Even Legit Music Blogs Deleted

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  • Anonymous Robot? (Score:5, Informative)

    by russotto (537200) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @02:57PM (#31135942) Journal

    accused blogger must file a counter-claim or, after an unquantified number of complaints -- valid or otherwise -- the law forces Google (or any other blogging platform) to terminate the accounts of "repeat offenders," even if their only mistake was not to file paperwork against the accusations of an anonymous robot -- sad and wrong, but mandated by current law.

    Unless the law has changed recently, all DMCA notices must contain the signature of the complaining party. So it can't be an _anonymous_ robot. If Google has agreed to an expidited, unsigned, automated, takedown process, it's not the law's fault.

    If they are signing them, the fact that the law doesn't make false DMCA notices explicitly illegal is the problem.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:24PM (#31136114) Journal

    If you're going to invest years into something, there's no reason why you can't also invest a few dollars a month into a hosting plan.

    There are plenty of plans out there that let you do a one-click install of whatever sort of content management or blogging software you could reasonably need, and you get to customize it. And one-click backups and restores, for both the database backend and the site itself.

    Plus you get your own domain name.

    And you don't have to worry about "someone else already has that email / user name" crap.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:57PM (#31136370) Homepage Journal

    If you're going to host a blog for five years, why not upgrade to hosting it yourself?

    Because most people can't afford to upgrade from a residential ISP plan, which usually bans web servers visible to the public, to a business ISP plan.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:03PM (#31136422)
    Actually, contrary to your claim there will be very serious repercussions if the blogger takes this case to court.

    When you file a DMCA complaint, you declare that you are the copyright holder or an agent of the copyright holder, and that there has been a good reason to suspect copyright infringement. If that is not the case, then the DMCA complaint is actually a criminal act. And since the blogger claims that he had the permission of the copyright holder, it seems that a criminal act happened (assuming the blogger is telling the truth). And I think damages would be awarded against the complainant anyway if the complaint was not justified (that is if the complainant had good reason to believe there was copyright infringement, but turned out to be wrong).
  • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:10PM (#31136482) Homepage

    That's not how DMCA works. They have to take it down right away:

    Common Misunderstandings

    It is sometimes stated that the ISP needs to give the alleged infringer ten days notice before acting. This is incorrect: the ISP must act expeditiously. The ten day period refers to the counter notification procedure described in Section 512(g) after the infringing material has been removed, offering them an opportunity to counter the allegations presented to the ISP not during the stage of the so-called "take down" procedure.

    So Google is not at fault here.

  • by Gabrosin (1688194) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:21PM (#31136592)

    Once again, from TFA:

    In a statement issued to Wired.com, Google maintains that it warned the affected music bloggers after each of the complaints that led to deletion

    Google says every notice e-mailed to bloggers included the URLs of the posts in question, and the notices we’ve seen do include the URLs

    “Each e-mail includes information about the risks regarding repeat offenses and a link to our DMCA policy page with instructions on how to file a counter-claim,” Google spokeswoman Sara Jew-Lim told Wired.com. “The e-mail will also specifically identify the post or posts in question and will include a link to ChilingEffects.org so the blogger can view the actual complaint we received.”

    So, Google sent out notices to the offending blogs; they include a URL to the offending material; they include their DMCA policy; and they TELL THE BLOGGER WHAT TO DO NEXT. What more do you fucking want from them?

    This is like being issued a warning that you're parked in an illegal spot and if you keep doing it, your car will be towed. You get one warning and ignore it; you get another warning and ignore it; you get another warning and ignore it; then suddenly your car is towed and you start bitching and moaning. You were told what would happen!

    I sympathize with the bloggers who lost their sites, but I echo the comments made by others: it's YOUR responsibility to back up anything that's precious to you. The bloggers that keep their own archive of their sites are protected from losing all their hard work due to legal problems, server troubles, or any other lost data disaster.

    Anyone who is using this incident to further their own hatred of Google is doing everyone a disservice; aim that hatred at the corrupt music industry where it belongs. If you're going to raise hell over this, raise hell to the lawmakers who can do something about the state of copyright law in the US. I agree with the prevailing sentiment in these comments: until there are penalties instituted for issuing a false DMCA takedown notice, NOTHING will improve.

  • Re:Anonymous Robot? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mathinker (909784) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:49PM (#31136870) Journal

    IANAL, but if I understand US law correctly you can drag anyone's ass to court if they file a bogus take down notice.

    You obviously aren't a lawyer, because if you were one, you'd know just how God-awful expensive it is to "drag someone's ass to (Federal) court".

    Big Content knows that the probability that someone would think it worthwhile to countersue is minuscule. Probably even quite a bit less than the probability of being threatened to be sued for filesharing.

  • by VShael (62735) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:22PM (#31137172) Journal

    If the legal system operated as intended, this would be true.

    However, ample evidence has shown that the legal system is well and truly broken, and that if you have sufficient money/power/political weight behind you, there will be no penalty regardless of the crime.

  • Re:Achilles Heel. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Draek (916851) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:54PM (#31138534)

    So, now I have to find some independents to support. Know any good sites that of course will have samples of the music to help guide me?

    Two websites that I know of: Magnatune [magnatune.com], as its been mentioned on Slashdot a few times, is a "do no evil" music label that actually does that. Their classical collection in particular is excellent, and added to the fact that they've got FLAC downloads alongside the usual lossy formats it's a must-have for any classical fan, though they've got some interesting stuff in their other genres as well. You can listen to the whole album for free (as a stream) before purchasing, and they've even got an all-you-can-eat model with monthly payments as well.

    And the other is Jamendo [jamendo.com], which contrary to Magnatune has a fairly small classical collection but the amount (and diversity) of indie rock is simply staggering, and they've got a decent catalogue of other genres as well. Free downloads in both MP3 and OGG formats with handy donation buttons and user reviews.

    Outside of that, though, all I know is good ol' MySpace where pretty much *every* independant artist/band/whatever has a webpage, though that makes it kinda hard to pick the wheat from the chaff but YMMV.

  • Re:Achilles Heel. (Score:3, Informative)

    by vivaelamor (1418031) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:55PM (#31138538)

    Know any good sites that of course will have samples of the music to help guide me?

    Jamendo [jamendo.com], Magnatune [magnatune.com], Bandcamp [bandcamp.com], Amie Street [amiestreet.com], TheSixtyOne [thesixtyone.com] and Zunior [zunior.com]; to name a few.

  • by sjames (1099) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:27PM (#31139352) Homepage

    If that is not the case, then the DMCA complaint is actually a criminal act.

    Which has never in the history of the DMCA seen a single enforcement in criminal or civil court.

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