Those Bad Bloggers

Someone has been waiting for years to use the word, “musicblogocide,” and that person is fulfilling his dream today.   According to Geek.com, “In what is being referred to as the Musicblogocide of 2010, Google has deleted at least half a dozen popular music blogs that they claim violated copyright law which were hosted on Google’s Blogger and Blogspot services.”  A good move?  Something to keep in mind is that popular blogs sway opinion and can point consumers to an artist.

Google has targeted copyright violating bloggers who make it easy for readers to download free mp3s or who post videos without the proper licensing from the music labels.  But is that really the case?  One of the bloggers who was deleted said that he’d been encouraged to post new songs by the music labels themselves – who then filed copyright violation charges against him.  So, the cynics would say, they’ve had their free publicity, maybe a few sales, and suddenly now are opposed to the postings.

There is also a problem because of the vagueness of the charges against these bloggers.  Google says, “When we receive multiple DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaints about the same blog, and have no indication that the offending content is being used in an authorised manner, we will remove the blog. [If] this is the result of miscommunication by staff at the record label, or confusion over which MP3s are ‘official’ … it is imperative that you file a DMCA counter-claim so we know you have the right to the music in question.”  DMCA complaints are notoriously vague and don’t specify what the actual infringements are.

One of the blogs deleted by Google is I Rock Cleveland.  Blogger Bill Lipold told The Plain Dealer, a Cleveland newspaper, “It’s difficult to get across…that there’s a difference between someone working with the blessings of the artists and labels and someone who leaks Bruce Springsteen’s entire discography.  They don’t see the distinction between someone who’s adding value and someone who’s facilitating piracy.  That goes to the root of this whole mess.”  Lipold’s been unsuccessful in convincing Google of this.

The Twitter response has been swift, with one user writing, “I say we boycott @Google and start using Bing. Doesn’t everyone know BLOGGER sucks anyway?”

The blogs deleted also had their entire archives deleted, which was months or even years of work that had attained good search engine rankings.  Now, if they do choose to start somewhere else, they’re starting from scratch.  Music piracy is serious, but are these bloggers the problem?  Or were they helping drive sales?

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