The world is calling it "Musicblogocide 2010." We call it yet another demonstration that the DMCA takedown is a ridiculously blunt instrument. As reported by The Guardian, Google recently destroyed six popular music blogs hosted on its Blogger service after receiving repeated notices alleging that the sites were housing …
So what is the level of evidence provided with a DMCA takedown notice anyway?
Or is there typically any evidence provided with these things?
Throwing a legal-type notice at an organisation and expecting them to comply with it without any kind of due process is a bit rich. What if they're hosting their own material?
Just use the counter-notice
There's not *meant* to be any due process with the DMCA notice system because anyone affected (for example the bloggers) can just send a counter-notice to their hosting provider and the material will be put back. I'm surprised that the bloggers in question *didn't* do this. Its not like 17 USC is particularly hard to read.
The safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA are far from ideal - as another poster says the largely toothless perjury provisions concerning notices haven't proved particularly effective and there are other problems - but they are a good deal saner than almost anyone else's solution to the problem.
Sounds like an opportunity...
... for someone in the community to learn how to post these notices and provide that service to these blogs for a reasonable fee.
Paris, because, ...
Okay, so now YouTube is next, right?
Re: Sounds like an opportunity...
Sounds like an opportunity for someone to start posting takedown notices, then charge the blogs a small "protection fee" not to post them anymore.
I'm just glad the record labels understood that obscurity equals cool equals piles of cash. Why buy a song when other people know about it? I only spend money on stuff that's so elite even I don't know the band exists. Take that, bloggers!
Okay, now someone take that shotgun away from them, the music industry has hardly any feet left to shoot themselves in.
at the article says:
"after receiving repeated notices alleging that the sites were housing unauthorized copyrighted content."
Look like google ILLEGALLY REMOVED content whitout any proof of any kind.
the most dangerous criminals on the internet are:
RIAA and MPAA.
Not illegal to remove at all
There's no law forbidding google to do whatever it pleases on (sub)sites it owns but gives to whomever signs up to use (for free). It's their servers, their rules, and all it takes is a couple of sentences in their Ts&Cs to make it legal and to be expected.
This also shows why it isn't wise to have your blog hosted on servers under USoA law jurisdiction through location, ownership, or otherwise. Not that RIAA and MPAA won't try regardless, and some companies not under USoA jurisdiction will comply even if they don't have to. Such is the influence (and expectation of influence) of USoA laws and lawyers.
The bloggers need a better defence...
A better defence is needed than "I assure you that everything I've posted for, let's say, the past two years, has either been provided by a promotional company, came directly from the record label, or came directly from the artist," one blog owner said.
If I bump into [insert name of favourite artist here] and [he/she/they/it] give me a copy of their forthcoming album, that doesn't give me licence to put it on my blog for all to download. Likewise, if a promotional company gives me a preview of a CD to listen to and comment about on my blog, that doesn't give me a licence to copy it.
Now I'm not saying that the bloggers have broken the law... but if the above quote is the best defence they've got, then I reckon they're in trouble.
I've been burned by this...
... before the invention of Mozy, I paid for a hosting service, passworded the root and all files, and backed my music collection, personal photos and documents to it, in the off chance my local backups were robbed or destroyed.
Within about a week of finishing my uploading, I recieved an email from the web host, claiming to have received a dmca and that they would remove all infringing material. That evening all my music AND photos were gone.
Thing is, since nobody without my password could even see any of these files, how the hell was a dmca filed?? I had a feeling at the time that the webhost didn't want to even risk being part of an mp3 or picture sharing ring or something so was basically making these dmca notices up to close accounts. I did ask them to explain themselves, but never got a reply, just a refund for the hosting pack and a letter confirming termination.
Since then, mozy have come out so I'm not that bothered by it now... but at the time I was enraged!! :(
Gotta feel like a mug if you sit there promoting bands via supporting a community and then the old music biz comes and shuves a giant cock up your arse.
I'd replace the blog with a message to the community telling them that I'd spent years promoting and supporting legal music and sources, but now - stuff em, download it all! They dont' deserve a penny.
"came directly from the artist"
Depending on their contract, the artist might well not have the right to give it to third parties to distribute.
Indeed, the zeal at which the USA expects the rest of world to obey its laws is matched only by its reluctance to obey some of ours.
Talk about spreading misinformation...
"At least some of the music bloggers claim they were not hosting unauthorized content. "I assure you that everything I've posted for, let's say, the past two years, has either been provided by a promotional company, came directly from the record label, or came directly from the artist," one blog owner said."
If you get a promotional copy of a record from one of these sources, you are in no way "authorized" to make these files available to the public. That's just clever spin.
Once again, legal redress is needed
If removal is requested but an offence cannot subsequently be proved, then the company that requested the removal should be required to pay a substantial sum in compensation .
Such payment is necessary not just to compensate the innocent party, but also to act as a deterrent to premature and unwanted removal of material based purely on suspicion and not on proper, irrefutable evidence.
The aim has to be that a company that gets it wrong occasionally nevertheless loses substantially more than they sought to gain by its imprudent action.
DMCA is the law in the U.S.
It's the law that Google or anyone else has to take content offline promptly upon receiving a DMCA complaint - well, I'm not a lawyer and the correct term probably isn't "promptly". That's what the DMCA, current U.S. law, does. Typically the blogger (in these cases) can insist that they have the right to publish what they're publishing, and then they may have to prove it in court against the claimed copyright holder. And the "protection fee" is liable not to be small. And yes, in theory, proceeding a false DMCA claim will be heavily penalised by the court too. But that's only if the, um, victim stands up for their claimed rights, at considerable risk of, for instance, a bad legal decision.
"Blame the DMCA"
Oh, I do.
Are they posting music and demos on these blogs? (Not any more...)
I assumed that what was being objected to was writing about music before it is officially released ("under embargo"), or, well, at all.
Or, writing about artists' drug abuse, violent incidents, and lousy performances and releases. That isn't necessarily breach of copyright or confidentiality really but it isn't welcomed by music publishers either.
Then again, I suppose sampling in music could be a legal problem, and in demos or DJ mixes particularly. Creative people may clip and use identifiable material that they don't have the right to use.
Then again, let's randomly select for instance Eminem. Suppose that he releases a track describing how he intends to commit a major bank robbery, in detail. Then he does it. Due to the DMCA you wouldn't be allowed to say what he'd done - well, not online.
I just hope the police are paying close attention to the pop charts.