Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Be Evil -- Fail

Not Cool.

Recently a number of music blogs (written and run by great, amazing people) have been shut down.

Now I'm not talking about the guy who posted all 27 volumes of the Have a Nice Day series for anyone to download. Or the guy who posted the new U2 album the week before it was released.

I'm talking about music fans and enthusiasts who post one or two tracks they love by bands they love. These bloggers do more to generate interest in music than almost anything else (short of having songs placed in a teen drama on the CW). And recent studies have shown that people who download music from those blogs turn around and buy music by the artists they like in numbers far greater than the general public at large.

(Also, I should add, almost all these bloggers post MP3s for a limited amount of time or have prominent notices offering to take down any music on request of any artist or record company.)

So what do blog-hosting companies like Wordpress and Google (parent company of Blogger) do? They take down blogs without warning, without telling bloggers which post (or which piece of music) they object to (sometimes wiping out years of archives in the process), then tell bloggers they can have their blogs reinstated if they can prove they did nothing wrong -- which is basically impossible since they neglect to mention which posts or pieces of music prompted their actions.

Plus, in some cases, bloggers are posting music that was sent to them to be posted by the record labels or their representatives. Then, the legal team of those same labels complains to Google or Wordpress (which kills the blogs without bothering to investigate the complaints or determine whether the bloggers had permission to post the tracks in question).

In the past several months, this has happened twice to bloggers on my blogroll (to your left) and numerous times to other music bloggers.

The only possible response is this.

Seriously, Google -- is Franz Kafka running your company now?

What ever happened to "Don't Be Evil"?

Read more about it here.


March to the Sea said...

my blog has not been hit with this..yet..but I've gone ahead and removed al my mp3's for a little bit. See if the dust settles. I don't have nearly as much traffic as some of these other sites getting hit though. Losing all the text would be painful enough. A year or so ago I had read that blogger was going to not delete the posts, but put them back in a draft status and have users edit/remove the offending issue. Sounds like they bagged that idea.

Alex said...

March, that's a large part of my decision to primarily post YouTube song videos -- it lets me sidestep the entire issue (and still include music).

Users of Blogger would be smart to periodically export their blogs to make sure they don't lose old posts.

And everyone would be smart to check out March's fine Forgotten Disc Friday blog.

Holly A Hughes said...

Hmmm...this is why I only post videos with the songs as soundtracks, for listening purposes but not downloadable. I'm getting an Orwellian shiver down my spine, though, that this may not be as safe as I think. Well, I hope my disgracefully low hit rate should keep me under the radar....