No One Is Safe On Blogger

As you may have read elsewhere, several music blogs have recently been censored by Blogger (Google). Entire posts have been deleted without warning due to so-called “copyright infringement”. Such actions would not usually effect a 100% legal blog like Muruch, but unfortunately even legal bloggers like myself are being victimized by this process.

I just discovered that Blogger deleted my Joey+Rory review without notifying me before or after. Since Blogger is now tied into Gmail, there is absolutely no reason for them not to contact me at least after the fact. Especially since their own copyright policy states they would “make a good-faith attempt to contact the owner or
administrator of the affected site or content so that they may make a
counter notification”.

The mp3 in the Joey+Rory review was posted with the permission of Sugar Hill Records, so my writing has been unjustly censored. I have emailed my contact at Sugar Hill Records and the label had nothing to do with this. I also emailed Google, but have so far received no response.

It would seem that neither the parties making the complaints nor Google (who now owns Blogger) are bothering to check the actual legal status of the mp3 in question before they delete the posts. I’ve been told that at least one major label has an automated bot that may be the cause, but I don’t think that would affect artists on Sugar Hill Records.

Though I understand that the growing number of illegal blogs must make it difficult for Blogger to review each individual post, it seems detrimental to the copyright cause to automatically punish the innocent along with the guilty. They should at least give advance warning or simply revert the posts to draft so they are no longer viewable to the public in order to prevent these kinds of wrongful deletions.

There is currently a mass exodus underway as music blogs are moving to WordPress.com or their own domains (or shutting down completely) in the wake of Blogger’s attacks. I have begun transferring Muruch to WordPress, but did not do it in time to save the Joey+Rory review. And I have no idea if other reviews have also been deleted.

I have sacrificed a lot of time and traffic to keep Muruch a 100% legal blog. All mp3s hosted on my own server have been uploaded with the permission of the artist, label, manager, or PR rep and are usually removed within two weeks. This required a lot of work and even more patience, but obviously all my effort was for nothing.

It’s been increasingly difficult to obtain permission to post mp3s and this new development will most likely mean even less to download here…at least for a while. I hope that regular readers will stick around for my writing and recommendations, and bear with me while I try to sort this out.

If you care about the blogs you read, complain to Blogger/Google (removals@google.com) about what is happening.

7 thoughts on “No One Is Safe On Blogger

  1. Sorry to hear, Muruch; “welcome to the club” isn’t much when it’s a huge billy club, but it’s still something to share the weight. If it helps, you’re not the first 100% legal blogger to get hit, not by a long shot. Blogger/google have neither help desk nor help, and so though I admire the push to get others to complain, I don’t think it will matter. And, if it wasn’t enough, I heard today that New Zealand passed a law that says that ISPs must delete blogs which are hit with a finite number of take-downs, regardless of the status or legitimacy of those take-downs.

    I’ve got your missing post via feed and am emailing it as we speak. I’ll be on WordPress by Sunday, and hope to see you “there” soon.

  2. yahoo media player is now attached to sites(GVB,Aquarium Drunkard etc.-and when it is you can’t download mp3’s-does anybody know anything about this new ‘thing’???

  3. Whoever initiated the takedown was clearly worried about your post affecting Joey+Rory sales being generated by their saturation airplay on radio stations nationwide.

    This gets a big fat WTF from me. MP3 sites run by enthusiasts are an absolute godsend to relatively unknown artists and they should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to provide exposure to them. It’s one thing to post popular stuff; I can see the point in keeping them off free sites due to piracy concerns. But doing that for obscure artists is absolutely insane. I subscribe to this site’s RSS feed, and many others, precisely because I want to hear music not available anywhere else! Shutting it down is the worst thing labels can do.

  4. Like all posters, I, too, am saddened to hear that Blogger is removing legitimate mp3s you post. It does seem very curious, and legally insupportable – however, there’s no sign yet of a lawyer or lobby group anywhere that’s about to tackle this industry assault on music bloggers and audiences.

    The lines are being drawn. Recording artists can choose – do they side with the interests of music-lovers or the mainstream industry? Creators have a real option today – they can reject the label system, the PROs and other arms that seek to strangle sounds online. Proportionately, few do, however.

    Hopefully, in time, more musicians will make their music outside of the grasp of the machine. Then you’ll have lots more music that you can play freely.

  5. Adrian – As always, thanks for the support! Unfortunately in my case, even having the artist and their record label backing me did not prevent Blogger from deleting my legal post nor has it received any response from them (I filed a counter claim last week, no answer). Since these claims are unverified, it could just be some random person or various sources or merely a bot. It does not seem to be directly connected to any specific label or the RIAA. Until Google/Blogger owns up to the deletions and provides more information on who are behind the claims, it will remain a frustrating mystery.

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