Google’s ‘blogocide’ deletes music blogs

(created with FAT’s great Google Tag script – love the ZEVS style one too)

Apparently Google has deleted entirely several music blogs entirely for infringement of copyright – even the ones that posted tracks with permission from the record label, artists or management.

I commented on this Guardian article, thought it bore repeating (and extending) here – shame the comments devolved into the sad ‘HANG EM COS THEY IS PIRATES’ rantage and many didn’t bother to actually READ the article.

Thing is, very few blogs nowadays post ‘illegal’ tracks. They get sent to them by pluggers and managers and even the artists themselves. If you have an email from the PR company saying ‘can you post this track?’ then why is it suddenly a) illegal and b) killing the music industry when the very industry is asking for blogs for free promotion?

This blog gets these ALL the time…I rarely ever post single tracks here, not ‘legal’ ones (mashups yes, but they almost never can be legal) but I still get deluged by these people. So I’ve expected to get hassle, never have in over 5 years (one polite request for a takedown from management – not a DMCA cos I’d just laugh), but I do self-host and use WordPress, which to be honest if you’re running a blog on Blogspot or Blogger you are a fool, and should at very least have daily backups for when a post get pulled, or crosspost to another backup blog. Also only 3 of the 100 top blogs run on Blogger – note that more than a 3rd use self-hosted blog software such as WordPress or Movable Type. No-one trusts free hosted blogs such as Blogger or Blogspot (or even for precisely this reason…it’s not like we haven’t been here before (but a few posts is different to an entire blog).

I do feel like Tangina in Poltergeist saying to the poor spirits still using Google and other free hosted blogs – come into the light! Come into the light! Really self-hosting is the only way to go if you are serious about blogging, also it makes the DMCA process less automatic and harder – hosting companies won’t be able to pull individual posts – you’re a paying customer who they don’t want to lose so will usually ask you first unless it’s something criminally illegal (child porn, wares etc), you can backup easily, and can separate your domain from your host so you can setup elsewhere easily if you do get the site pulled – but that is rare because to be brutally honest record labels aren’t going to expend that sort of lawyer time and energy. especially when at the click of a button some untrained oik can file a DMCA request on a hosted site.

I DO think there should be more transparency in blogging…far too many veiled PR and re-cooked press releases and dodgy dealing behind those script fonts and pictures of zero-size models. I’d rather people said ‘yes this was officially sent to me’ than pretend to be guerilla and underground and oh-so-radical (and ironically get burned for it). It would reveal the double-standard of the industry so clearly – they WANT DJ whitelabels, they WANT mashups, they WANT podcasts to play their music, they WANT blogs to blog it…but then when the official spotlight comes on then they pretend they didn’t. It’s bullshit. I’ve had industry A&R peeps tell me they court unofficial remixes – why do you think they release acapellas and instrumentals?

Blogging is exactly the same…they want the underground niche cred and free promo…but don’t want to officially admit that, or blame their online/viral PR company. Hypocrites indeed.

With all of that said – Google shouldn’t get off the hook…they are being evil again (such a surprise). The bloggers were unwise but putting out DMCAs for people posting THEIR OWN music? Same thing happened with the YouTube debacle – Warners and other companies putting out DMCAs to their own acts who wanted to post the videos. Google does need to sort out some way of checking if the bloggers have permission, or at least act within their OWN guidelines and give the bloggers warning. Until then, I strongly advise anyone to avoid Blogger and Blogspot and boycott them.

And in other news, we can +5 Warners in the ‘Suckiest Stupidest Copywhore Record Company OF ALL TIME’ stakes (head and head with EMI, folks!) cos they just decided there’s no future in streaming music services like Spotify.

Either a) trying hard to not be in the charts later this year b) thus wanting to go bust due to more head-in-the-sand policies c) want to win the much envied Radio Clash SUCKAR award (it’s a standing golden statue of Gary Glitter and Lars from Metallica in a ***CENSORED*** position). Who knows.

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