Just when you thought it was safe to get back on the internet, here comes a brand spanking new copyright infringement drama aimed and ready to take fire at music bloggers.
It seems that with all of this going on (well, and this and this and this), some companies are getting scared that they'll be caught with their copyrighted pants down. The best way to avoid that, it seems, is just to delete everything that might ever get them in trouble.
So if you've been using Google's Blogger platform, like hundreds of other music bloggers, you might want to take a look through your archives. Ryan Spaulding of Ryan's Smashing Life had a little look-see through his recently and realized that old blog posts with copyrighted material were vanishing. He told L.A. Weekly that in the past, if a blogger posted something potentially un-copyright-friendly, Google sent them a written warning. Now, they've simply deleted pages from his blog without any notice, removing them completely from his archives.
Perhaps the most outrageous thing about all this is that Spaulding says the mp3s he posted were sent to him by labels or artists as a part of digital press packages.
I’d received the label’s press releases and followed their directions, spending my time and energy to promote their albums. By pulling down my post, they destroyed my intellectual creativity, the very same thing they’re erroneously accusing me of doing. Say someone had linked to that post, or [blog aggregator] Hype Machine — it’s gone completely. If I go into my Blogger table of contents, it’s gone. Not de-published — gone.
A spokesperson for Google told L.A. Weekly that the company acts quickly to remove "alleged copyright infringement," and that their response may include "removing allegedly infringing material." The fine print, as usual, is on their side.
We're not sure what's more upsetting -- that Google is reaching inside the private blog spaces of its users to remove personally created material, or that the material which was used in a completely above board, legal way, is now seen as potentially law-suit-inspiring because of the recent YouTube freakouts of major label heads.
But hey, look on the bright side. Soon we won't be worried about any of it, because platforms like YouTube and blogging will no longer exist. We just hope these companies remove their heads from wherever they may be stuck before then, and realize that's not the result they're after.