Google Accused Of Invisibly Deleting Blog Posts On The RIAA's Say-So

from the how-not-to-promote-yourself dept

The fight between music bloggers and record labels reached its most visible point when a guy who uploaded a leaked copy of the latest Guns N’ Roses album to his site got arrested by the FBI. But many music bloggers are now fighting a much more invisible menace, with posts they’ve written suddenly disappearing from their sites (via Tyler Hellard) hosted on Google’s Blogger platform. An RIAA source says that the group sends Google a list of URLs it doesn’t like, and Google “then deals with the problem.” Google says that it notifies bloggers after their posts have been taken down, in accordance with the DMCA. But it should hardly be surprising that many of those affected say they’ve gotten no such notice, nor that the offending material was either legally posted and/or supplied by the labels themselves. So two possibilities emerge: the RIAA is filing false DMCA takedowns, and/or its legal right hand doesn’t know what the labels’ promotional left hands are doing. The upshot of this is that lots of music bloggers say the threat of landing in legal trouble — particularly for posting music supplied to them by labels and artists — is having a chilling effect on them, and could eventually stop them from blogging, shutting down a valuable promotional tool for the labels. That sort of shooting itself in the foot, though, seems to be the record industry’s specialty.

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Companies: google, riaa

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Comments on “Google Accused Of Invisibly Deleting Blog Posts On The RIAA's Say-So”

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58 Comments
Joe Smith says:

Evil

Everything eventually becomes its opposite, if it doesn’t fight within itself to remain and retain its original meaning in a new time and place.

The question for us should be are we ready for evil google to be born? They don’t seem to try to question themselves, only expand themselves, thus is google born anew as evil.

Joost says:

Re: Re: Denial ain't a river in Egypt

Quote: “It’s considered acceptable among leftists”

Always funny to see how crooked some people’s political view is. Repression, disregard of human rights for “security”, political censorship and power to governments/police is globally considered RIGHT WING POLITICS. How on earth did you conclude this is Left Wing? “It’s bad for you, so it has to be left wing”. That must be your thought process, i can’t explain this crooked idea otherwise.

With all due respect, but maybe you should return to highschool (if you aren’t atm) and ask your teachers to refresh you on political views. You don’t seem to know squat about it.

Joe the Shroom Farmer says:

Re: Re:

MS has become its opposite…it’s gone from being the big bad monopoly to the guy struggling to catch up.

Google isn’t the son of Satan. At best, it’s the son of Lilith. And I believe the guy was referring to the (old?) Google practice of blocking specific political ad campaigns while allowing others.

Chuck Pelto (profile) says:

Living with the 'Disappeared'

TO: All
RE: Been There

I’ve posted comments on web-sites and later had them ‘disappear’.

RE: What To Do

I’ve taken to capturing all comments on controversial discussions as a back-up and as evidence.

RE: Google

Why does ANYONE with more than two synapses to rub together do ANYTHING with Google? They are, in my honest opinion, a bunch of money-grubbing bat-rastards who would sell their own mother to the Communist Chinese as a whore to make a buck.

As I’ve seen it, they have no regard for the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights. The very thought of freedom of expression is secondary to their desire to make money. This is manifested by their involvment in the suppression of information in Communist China.

That, in my opinion, applies to Cisco as well.

So, if you have anything to do with either of those odious organizations, you are only bringing trouble to yourself, short term or long term.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[You can only serve on master, righteousness or mammon. — Some Wag, around 2000 years ago]

Herb says:

Re: Living with the 'Disappeared'

Chuck! How you doing, buddy? Still making those genius arguments I see.

When you wrote, “As I’ve seen it, they have no regard for the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights.” I thought you were talking about your Republican friends, but then I realized you were talking about Google.

I think you might have found a solution for your Obama’s birth certificate problem though…Commie China did it in the Google with the Cisco router.

(PS Which router are you using to route your traffic? I hope it’s a Juniper….)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Living with the 'Disappeared'

Hey Chuck, did the meds run out so soon?

WTF has the Constitution or the Bill of Rights have to do with this? Google is a private company and sets the rules of use. If you don’t like them, then don’t use their services.

Christ allmighty – how hard a concept is this to understand?

Maybe you can build your own search engine, free email service, free whatever. When you do, let us all know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Is it so hard to believe that Google would take down obviously illegal content that is hosted on its servers when notified of the material?

Google is not the only blog server/host site to take down the music blogs. Thankfully (for me, I have an online vintage music store & do CD transfers) at Christmastime there were hundreds taken down that I was aware of. Most of all of those taken down contained free downloads of OOP music.

Of course for my business, I want to see this happen, and want to see more people have to legally buy the original vinyl and pay for the transfer service on top of that.

If my children didn’t rely on my business to eat though, my opinion would be this….If record labels and/or artists who own copyrights are not actively distributing their works on a format that is current (ie. cd’s & mp3’s) then anyone should be allowed to share the music for free or for profit. With the way technology has progressed, there is no reason why an artist or label could not pump out some CD’s or mp3’s and make them available on Amazon or itunes.

Of course it is much easier and more profitable to sue individuals who are infringing copyrights. Why produce 10K cd’s and worry about distribution just to make a couple of thousand dollars profit if you can sue some housewife in Topeka for sharing a Christmas album online. Better yet, sue Google for allowing it to happen for millions of dollars.

true says:

so ....

Host your own weblog somewhere else. You can rent server space on Hosting Matters for $10 a month and they provide scripts to install Word Press for free.

Or find some other hosting service. Why give Google your info which they will index and use for targeted ads – and maybe sell one day with your id attached to it?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: so ....

True. Google are not the only ones affected by this and other pressures to censor, they’re just the most visible. They have no obligation to their users, just their shareholders and advertisers, just like every other business out there. If they receive takedown notices, they are going to try to protect themselves from lawsuits by siding with the most powerful party.

You have 3 options. One is to give in. One is the fight Google and the RIAA, but who has funds for that? The 3rd is to take power into your own hands, find a host and put the content up yourself. Mirror the content elsewhere so that the Streisand Effect can take place if your content at one source is taken down.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: so ....

They have no obligation to their users, just their shareholders and advertisers, just like every other business out there.

I think you mean “just like every other corporation out there.” And Google’s basic legal obligation is to its shareholders alone (not its advertisers). This is very from a privately held businesses where the private owners have no such obligation and are free to pursue any (legal) business objective they desire.

Thomas Shanks says:

Google is Breaking the Law

Google is REQUIRED to supply the ACTUAL TEXT of the REQUEST and they HAVE NOT DONE THIS.

I’ve pulled all my Google Ads from my sites and switched to Yahoo, even though it certainly pays less. Screw those law-breakers who make, worse than making NO EFFORT to give their customers the most room to fight the claim, actually don’t send me any notification at all! My post just disappeared!

Veritas says:

look behind the curtain..

DON’T blame google for the censorship. It’s your FUCKING government what causes this. Do you really think google has any choice??? Fuck!! Open your eyes kids!
Most of all europeans and every eurasian see USA and ISRAEL as a world-wide endangerment. It’s NOT Russia or China!
But you have no idea.. pay your taxes and finance the war. The war against TERROR!? Your government is the founder of all terror, just to control you. The WORLD turned against you WE hope that the CSTO blasts away the NATO. Eat shit Obama.

Daniel Tunkelang (profile) says:

What's worse, cowardice or ignorance?

I really wish that high-traffic blogs would either disallow or discourage anonymous comments. There’s a real opportunity for intelligent discussion, but it’s hard when most of the comment thread is ignorant screaming, safely posted from behind the cowardly mask of anonymity.

The DMCA is the law of the land, and Google is required to obey it if they want to continue existing as a business. If they aren’t obeying the law, and you suffer damage as a result, then you can take legal action. It’s not a perfect system, but, hey, if you don’t like it, write a letter to Congress.

To be clear, I’m no Google fan boy. Check out my blog if you don’t believe me:

http://thenoisychannel.com/?s=google

cowardly mask of anonymity - heh says:

Re: What's worse, cowardice or ignorance?

What do you mean by “law of the land, and Google is required to obey it”

The way I understand it, Google is not required by (DMCA) law to remove items claimed to be infringing. Websites will remove the item in question in order to maintain their safe harbor status.

Daniel Tunkelang (profile) says:

Re: Re: What's worse, cowardice or ignorance?

Now you’re splitting hairs. If Google gives up its safe harbor status by ignoring DMCA infringement notices, it exposes itself to an enormous liability, which would in practical terms make them unable to provide a service at all. If you don’t like the DMCA, that’s fine, but blaming Google for abiding by both its letter and spirit as a law is disingenuous. Would you rather Google shut down completely, out of principle?

p.s. Why the anonymity? Your argument, while disingenuous, is intelligent, I see no reason for you to be embarrassed about or afraid of disclosing your identity.

embarrassed or afraid says:

Re: Re: Re: What's worse, cowardice or ignorance?

Being explicit is now considered “splitting hairs”, interesting.

I did not suggest that anyone should make a particular decision about taking down content nor did I levy judgement upon any said action. It is unclear where you get this idea.

btw, my real name is Spider Pig

Daniel Tunkelang says:

Re: Re: Re:2 What's worse, cowardice or ignorance?

Very well, let me be explicit. The choice Google has is either to take down the content in response to DMCA requests or to face liability for not doing so. You are correct that Google has a choice. But you (singular or plural–what’s the plural of anonymous?) are disingenuous not to make their alternative explicit: it’s to face an enormous liability by waiving the safe harbor protection offered by the DMCA. You, who aren’t even willing to risk exposing your own name, expect Google to exposing themselves to billions of dollars in legal costs? Puh-leez.

Nick says:

Wow

“Why does ANYONE with more than two synapses to rub together do ANYTHING with Google? They are, in my honest opinion, a bunch of money-grubbing bat-rastards who would sell their own mother to the Communist Chinese as a whore to make a buck.

As I’ve seen it, they have no regard for the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights. The very thought of freedom of expression is secondary to their desire to make money. This is manifested by their involvment in the suppression of information in Communist China.”

Oh my God, hold the phones! You mean Google is a company in the business of making money?? You mean to tell me they are also a privately owned company, and as such have the rights, granted under the Constitution, to control the content published by their company as they see fit?!?!? Thank you so much for opening my eyes to the terrible freedoms which should obviously be stripped away from Corporate America, in order to uphold free speech!

MZ says:

> The way I understand it, Google is not required by (DMCA) law to remove items claimed to be infringing. Websites will remove the item in question in order to maintain their safe harbor status.

Fair point, but when you receive (probably) hundreds of these daily, do you really think you’re not going to take the requested items down in order to maintain that safe harbor status and not risk getting sued over it? Even lawsuits you will eventually win are tiresome, troublesome, time-consuming and distracting – not to mention a drain for money and human resources (lawyers).

If you have anything to blame, it’s the DMCA law and the way it is written.

The DMCA is a beautiful censorship gun – find content you don’t like, put together a decently sounding takedown request (possibly with fake data) and send it to the owner of the site (or ISP that’s hosting it). It’s a simple fire-and-forget with an extremely high probability of success. No big website or ISP can afford to ignore these takedowns, nor can they afford to perform real verification (too many of them), so most bogus takedowns will get acted upon and the content removed…

TX CHL Instructor (profile) says:

Trust Google?

Hmmm… I use gmail, and I even use a gphone. They are very convenient. But I am careful to download all of my email to my local machine on a regular basis, and all of my important email is routed through my own domain. Neither my email archives nor my email address can be held hostage by Google, ever.

Likewise, I host my own blog(s). It’s no biggie to install WordPress, and hosting fees these days are so cheap it’s not worth going with a ‘free’ service. ‘Free’ ALWAYS comes with a catch. Especially with an outfit with the financial muscle of Google, with their leftist political agenda.

Even if my current hosting service decided my blog wasn’t “politically correct” enough for them, I could take my backups and be back up in a day or so. If Google decides to restrict my email in any way, I can stop using it instantly.

I control my email, and I control my blogs. I wouldn’t even think of letting Google control either one.

http://www.chl-tx.com Thanks, BHO! You have given my business a wonderful boost!

grampz says:

Re: Trust Google?

so, instead of going w/ google… we should be using microsoft’s live search? Or wait… microsoft is evil too. How about yahoo? Yahoo answers is like asking a retarted person to explain to another retarted person y something doesnt work when neither of the 2 retarded people understand it to begin with. Frankly, i’d rather take an educated guess, as chances are its more useful than yahoo will ever be. oh and lets not forget the whole “undervaluing our company” shtick. i mean seriously? now your company is worth less than my hd tv and u coulda sold it for a decent rate. I use google cuz google gets me results. results i like. results i can deal with. if google sold its company to satan and satan decided to leave everything as it is… i’d still use google. cuz satan needs 2 put his kids through college too ya know. cant be an evil genius on a high-school education.

Reena says:

Get permission - file that permission with your host - they'll go to bat for you

Hosting your own site is easy – and not expensive. Plus, if you host a music site on one of the “big names” like blogspot or blogger, you’ve essentially set up shop in a killzone. Not only will the RIAA start systematically looking on the free sites for music blogs (and then shutting them down), but Google is so large it doesn’t know what’s going on in its own house.

My site had an mp3 of an indie band’s concert. I had permission from the band to use the mp3 on my site, and I filed a letter with Scribehost (my web host). About two years later, someone claiming to act on behalf of the indie band’s promoter sent my host a DMCA takedown notice. Scribehost had paper on file saying that I had the right to use that file on my URL, and sent me a copy of the takedown request and their reply to the requestors…and left the files in place.

Mike Penrod (user link) says:

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