Blogger deleted my blog located at livingears.blogspot.com on Monday. I received the following email after it had been deleted:
We’d like to inform you that we’ve received another complaint regarding your blog (http://livingears.blogspot.com/). Upon review of your account, we’ve noted that your blog has repeatedly violated Blogger’s Terms of Service (http://www.blogger.com/terms.g). Given that we’ve provided you with several warnings of these violations and advised you of our policy towards repeat infringers, we’ve been forced to remove your blog.
Thank you for your understanding.
The Blogger Team
This has been picked up on by a few outlets as multiple blogs seem to have been deleted at the same time.
- Hipster Runoff: Google is deleting shitty mp3 blogs
- The Daily Swarm: Google Resumes Music Blog Breakdowns…
- We All Want Someone To Shout For: Blogger/Google Fucking Over Music Bloggers
- The Music Slut: NEWS: #MUSICBLOGOCIDE2K10
- Nashville Scene: Has Google Deleted Your MP3 Blog Yet?
There is word that Google has a new policy which is to just hit delete on blogs instead of sending a warning if you post an infringing mp3. This article in the LA Weekly has a blogger discussing the same feeling I have towards blogging, the RIAA and copyright infringement.
While much of what I post here is emailed to me, for larger acts such as The xx it can be difficult to determine which tracks are fair game to post. Often I take my queues from larger sites like Stereogum, Fader or Pitchfork. If they have it up for download the artist must be good with that, right? Last year I posted a newly released mp3 from The Twilight Sad which was available on both Stereogum and Pitchfork. A week later Blogger had deleted the post.
There is a record kept of DMCA notices against individual sites. Here is the list of notices against my former site.
One problem with these notices is that they do not mention infringing files by name. When I post the playlist from Scene Not Heard and link to a couple of tracks, if I receive a DMCA notice, how can you tell which file is to be deleted? The bigger problem with these notices is that there is no burden of proof. Anyone can submit one of these DMAC notices against any site. So, say I had a vendetta against other blogs out there all I would need to do is claim that they were violating copyright. I don’t have to hold the copyright, I just have to mention the supposed violation. Even if artists/labels want music out there anyone can get it pulled.
Though I have no proof, I believe Web Sherriff may be doing just this. Most of the notices against my site came from London which is home to the company. Looking at the list of sites in these notices there seems to be no single identifying factor. I would expect to find the same band, song or label but these notices look to be long lists of blogs posting mp3s of any sort.
There really should be some sort of clearing house for music that artists want shared. If there was a database where artists and labels could upload tracks (similar to what soundcloud is doing), and the presence of files in this database meant sharing was encouraged, this would be a much clearer process. Even still, there needs to be some burden of proof. Without that this process never gets better. Blogging is not supposed to be a cat and mouse game of outsmarting ‘the man.’ We blog because we are passionate about music and want to share our findings and new favorites with anyone willing to listen.
When I initially started a blog I spent time researching which service I was going to use to host my blog. Because my favorite blogs at the time (myoldkentuckyblog and gorillavsbear) were both built on Blogger, I decided to go with Blogger as well. I figured they knew something I didn’t. Don’t do that. My advice to those out there interested in creating a music blog: go with WordPress over Blogger.
**UPDATES & Additional Coverage**
- Blogger Speaks
- Discussion on elbo.ws
- Pitchfork Covers the Take Downs
- Seattle Weekly
- Guardian: Google shuts down music blogs without warning
- Village Voice: Blogger Wars Heat Up
- Mashable: Google Deletes Music Blogs, Prompts a Twitter Upheaval
- Paste Magazine
- Portugal’s Virtuapro
- Wired: Dumb Labels, Laws (Not Google) to Blame for Music Blog Deletions
- Arstechnica: The Day the Music Died
- We Roqq: Recovering from Musicblogocide2k10