May 23 2010

Google stop bullying music blogs–it’s not very Google-like!

Published by at 11:53 am under MP3's,Muse News

Google we love you for things like this Pac Man logo/game. Please remain that Google.

If a blog publishes a post that contains a downloadable mp3 that allegedly infringes United States copyright laws, the record label will use the DMCA to contact Google. With no questions asked, Google will then reset your post to Draft status (allowing the blogger to remove the ‘offending’ content and republish it) and send you a Blogger DMCA Takedown Notification email…Google keeps track of all Blogger DMCA Takedown Notifications they send out and when it reaches their magic number, they shut down your blog. And that’s what has happened to The Pop Cop on May 14. Three years worth of work gone. No right of appeal.” (Pop Cop).

I don’t usually vent on IndieMuse like I’m about to vent (we try to stay positive!), but this issue has been bugging me for a while now.

It’s nothing new that the RIAA and similar organizations have very little understanding of  psychology, economics, and what some may even consider common sense. A little objective marketing research would show just how influential and effective music blogs are towards artist promotion. I would love to see the RIAA actually take the time to survey the fans of one of the artists that they “protect.” How did the fans discover their client’s music? It certainly wasn’t telepathically, as these organizations would have you believe.

The fact of the matter is that successful artists and labels would not have the reach they have today without music blogs serving as little pro-bono worker bees for them. And most of them will be the first to tell you that. It’s downright silly  for the RIAA (and the like) to treat music bloggers like they are nuisances. Besides, I’ve never known a blog that posts a sample track and is unwilling to take it down if requested (requests very rarely happen). It’s common sense that if these blogs were really looking to be uncooperative, they would just post/link to the entire album.

At this point, this is expected behavior by the RIAA and other “anti-piracy” organizations . But it is completely unacceptable coming from a “don’t be evil” company like Google. I’m not insinuating that Google is evil at all, but this is an issue that they need to actually sit down and talk about. They have every right to kick someone off their service (Blogger), but since they aren’t taking the time to hear both sides of the story, they should at least have the decency to just unpublish the content in question, and if it becomes a repeated “offense,” email the blogger and give them the opportunity to access their data or appeal. This just shouldn’t be an issue. Google, you do too much good in the world to embarrass yourself like this. You can’t just strip three years of somebody’s life away when they didn’t actually do anything wrong.

To learn more about how you can help get The Pop Cop, a legitimate and high quality Scottish music blog reinstated, follow this link. From the site: “Please email Google – support@blogger.com – and demand that The Pop Cop blog gets reinstated so I can at least get three years of my life back and move the content elsewhere. If I don’t win this fight, I’m not sure I can bring myself to start from scratch.”

Thanks for listening.

Here’s a little poem I wrote for the occasion:

First they came for Napster, and I did not speak out–
because I was not Napster;
Then they came for The Pirate Bay and I did not speak out–
because I was not The Pirate Bay;
Then they came for Muxtape, and I did not speak out–
because I was not Muxtape;
Then they came for  harmless music blogs such as I Rock Cleveland, Count Me Out, and Pop Cop, and I did not speak out–
because I was not I Rock Cleveland, Count Me Out, or Pop Cop;
Then they came for IndieMuse–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Okay, so that only somewhat makes sense, but whatever…

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Google stop bullying music blogs–it’s not very Google-like!”

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  2. Anonymouson 24 May 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Hi, thanks for bringing this issue to my attention! I’ll be sure to send an email. Also, i love your website and will do whatever it takes to defend indiemuse! You’re the ones who turned me on to Wilco!

  3. Marissaon 30 May 2010 at 6:44 pm

    That’s outrageous. If they take my indiemuse away, I will flip shit.

  4. Patrickon 07 Jun 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I’m a musician who has somewhat old-fashioned/unpopular beliefs…so get your tomatoes ready.
    It’s obvious that blogs are powerful promoters, I don’t think the RIAA or Google could argue that. But there is a difference between promoting something you love and distributing it.
    A silly example: I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of blogging about the new iPhone but if a blog started giving them away with every mouse click I don’t think that would go over too well.
    I don’t believe you have the right to own something just because you like it, or somebody else says you might like it. And I personally find it pretty disheartening that recorded music become so undervalued? That said, I’m not sure taking down blogs is going to help anybody.
    Perhaps bloggers who really do care about promoting music can find a way to do it without distributing it.

  5. Qon 11 Mar 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Patrick,

    Most bloggers contain a disclaimer that music is intended for sampling purposes, so they are actively encouraging readers to buy the music. Also, as David pointed out, most bloggers state that they will remove mp3’s if requested to do so. So Google should take that first step of asking bloggers to remove the content. To do otherwise is like a cop pulling over someone who’s going 5 miles over the speed limit and forcing them to surrender their vehicle. Most cops don’t do that, they issue a warning if the person is generally law-abiding. Google should do the same and send a warning to bloggers before taking the strongest punitive measures.

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