Yesterday, I sent an email to Blogger regarding the two posts that were “deleted” (suspended really) due to the false infringement claims by IFPI. I said that I hadn’t bothered to file a counter claim on the second deleted post since Blogger broke their promise of reinstating the first one despite no legal action being taken within the required waiting period. I ended with “Blogger’s continuing censorship of my writing due to false infringement claims has finally destroyed what little trust I had left in your company. After seven years at Blogspot.com, I am looking for a new host for my 100% legal music blog.”
Obviously I reached the cold heart of Google. ;p Today I received this reply from Blogger:
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention; we apologize for the further inconvenience you’ve experienced with some of the content rights issues on your blog. When we receive a DMCA notice, by law we are required to comply with these notices or we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. We’ve informed IFPI that we’ve received reports on their removal requests where the content complained of was apparently previously approved by the rightsholder. We have asked them to confirm with content owners that they have not authorized specific uses of their content before submitting removal requests to us. You should contact the PR company you work with and make sure that they’ve communicated to the record label that they’ve given permission for the distribution of certain songs on music blogs. It is the record labels and/or their representatives that instruct IFPI and similar trade associations on the content they want taken down. With that being said, we have restored the following posts back to your blog. They are stored as draft versions, therefore you will need to republish them online.”
I removed the mp3 links from the posts and added notes about the false claims before re-publishing them. I really don’t know if my victory will prevent Blogger from deleting future posts. Despite their apparent warning to IFPI about verifying their claims before filing removal requests, Blogger has made it clear that their priority is to protect themselves from legal action. So as long as IFPI keeps asking for posts to be removed, I suspect Blogger will keep removing them without verification. At least now I know counter claims work and that Muruch won’t be deleted before it gets transferred to its own domain (which will hopefully be at the end of this month).