Sunday, December 07, 2008

DMCA Blues

I received this email from Blogger yesterday:

Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog infringes upon the copyrights of others. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.

The notice that we received from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the record companies it represents, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at http://www.chillingeffects.org. We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Please note that it may take Chilling Effects up to several weeks to post the notice online at the link provided.

The IFPI is a trade association that represents over 1,400 major and independent record companies in the US and internationally who create, manufacture and distribute sound recordings (the "IFPI Represented Companies").

The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. We are in the process of removing from our servers the links that allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. See http://www.educause.edu/Browse/645?PARENT_ID=254 for more information about the DMCA, and see http://www.google.com/dmca.html for the process that Blogger requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.

Blogger can reinstate these posts upon receipt of a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and 3) of the DMCA. For more information about the requirements of a counter notification and a link to a sample counter notification, see http://www.google.com/dmca.html#counter.

Please note that repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in further remedial action taken against your Blogger account. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel. If you have any other questions about this notification, please let us know.

Sincerely,

The Blogger Team

Affected URLs:

http://stepfatherofsoul.blogspot.com/2007/12/rip-ike-turner.html


Several of my fellow soul bloggers have received similar notices fairly recently, which means that the copyright battle about online music has now moved from the world of Napster and file sharing to the blogging world. I had expected for some time that such a notice would cross my path, considering the relatively prolific posting that I do. As an attorney who has taken an intellectual property class or two, I am quite aware of the arguments made by the music industry about digital music sources, and in general I agree with them. It was in consideration of these arguments that I put a disclaimer on this blog some time ago to the effect that all material on this blog is copyrighted, that it is only here for noncommercial use (per the "fair use doctrine") and that if any objections existed that I would remove such offending material. I think it is clear that all music bloggers operate under such good faith attempts to share great music without breaking copyright law, but one man's "good faith" is another man's thievery, and Blogger, understandably, wants to stay out of the fray as much as possible. However, it does sadden me to see that I have to share my passion for great music under the cloud of impersonal legalese from Blogger.

So what to do? I am certainly disinclined to close up shop and file "Get on Down ..." away as a pleasant three-year online adventure, but I don't want Blogger to close down the blog arbitrarily should the IFPI, RIAA or any other organization protest about any content I have here. For the moment, my attempt at a compromise will be to continue the blog here on Blogger but make all posts "stream only" while I search for a different location to host the blog. Can any of my fellow bloggers who use Wordpress offer their opinion as to such matters? I would appreciate it.

11 comments:

callmekc said...

As someone who deals with copyright issues frequently (in the film world), I can tell you that not every musical recording is registered at the copyright office. It's tough to find out if a pre-1978 recording is registered unless you have access to the office itself or someone who can go and search for you in the card catalog.

I do believe it would be better to be safe than sorry, so perhaps just search for any valid copyright registration on any song you're going to post. I know you don't get many songs from CD, where such information would be mentioned, though...

HeavySoulBrutha DaveB. said...

What a drag. I've not received one of these yet, fingers crossed. I would imagine they just go on search terms and find "violations" that way. Oh, well. I'm sure the majority of us do this for the love of the music with no malicious intent. But, like a lot of these types of situations it's the abusers that cause trouble for us all posting the latest Coldplay record in full or the like. Bummer!

Peace and SOUL,
Dave...

Dollar Bill said...

I hope this will not diminish your passion for sharing the music you love and the important history that goes with it.

I hope you continue to do so,in whatever capacity or venue you can,even if it is going door to door with a stack of 45's and a player.

"Good afternoon Madam","Are you familiar with the wonderful world of Soul music?".

Red Kelly said...

Jason -

...I think it's the way they go about it; totally, irrevocably deleting something, without any warning, then allowing you no recourse whatsoever, that is just so incredibly Fascist.

Oh well.

Davewillie said...

I received one of these notices about two months ago, as well. After two years blogging about music and radio on my current blog and another two years blogging about baseball on a previous blog, I was dismayed that my latest venture was being called out for playing a five second snippet of a song during a segment I discontinued six months prior.

However, I will not be deterred. If someone wants a song deleted from my archives, I will comply. What I don't understand is why these artists would not want their wares being displayed for all to hear. Most of the complainers have been out of the spotlight for years and their careers could use a jolt.

raggedy said...

It seems like most of the blogs I'm frequenting has gotten such a warning by now. It's sad, since most of the music is by artists who probably appreciate the "free" advertising!

Regarding the WordPress inquiry: I have a blog there -- but I don't like the way WP is set up. I admit it is completely a matter of preference. I guess, if I tried harder, I'd learn to like the WP account, too.
I do like WordPress's templates better than Blogger's. And it is possible to move your blogger blogs there ... I think, it is worth a try. I also think that their promotion of one's blogs is more effective.
I wonder, if going private is an option?

raggedy said...

((Davewillie)) I don't think it's the artists complaining -- it is the industry who wants this to stop. The artists probably like the blogs, but the recording industry makes the money of selling music. The artists get pennies from what the CD's, records sell for ...
That's why quite a few artists have even asked their fans to download their CD's illegally. (Which I don't consider right, though.)
The artists make their money mainly via concerts. At least that's what I've heard.
On Youtube, for example, the UMG (I believe that's the name) claims copyright on some posted material -- and places ads on the channel. That way UMG makes at least some money from the online material. I think that is a great idea. I wonder whether Blogger could contact the group and get something similar going for us?

The Angry Independent said...

Everyone is dealing with this... bloggers all over the net have been getting these notices.
It's apparently a new tactic on the part of the recording industry.

Read the comments on my site (in the legal issues section on the sidebar).

I had to stop posting music, even though I posted rarely. And I never posted "files" or did "filesharing". I made no Mp3's available. I posted in Flash format (streaming only-- the same format that the music on youtube is in). But that apparently didn't matter. Just like other Classic music bloggers, I posted for educational and cultural purposes... to introduce this music to new audiences. But that didn't matter either.

On a related note... it was reported just this week that the RIAA is changing its strategy when it comes to the lawsuits.

Copy and paste to browser:

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/riaa-v-people-turns-lawsuits-3-strikes

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/12/no-isp-filterin.html

But they are still harassing bloggers.

I think they (the RIAA) should come up with a program that would allow bloggers to post music in Flash format...and music older than 20-25 years old... for educational and cultural purposes.

Even though this is a hobby...most of us have a lot of good information to pass down about the music posted... it's history, impact, defunct record labels, culture of the period, etc.

I would be willing to pay an annual fee for a license ($20.00, $40.00, $50.00) that would allow us to continue posting without the harassment. But the RIAA & the record companies it represents probably wouldn't go for anything like that. They want total control over how people hear/learn about music.

They fail to realize the benefits of having hundreds, if not thousands, of music hobbyists....(some are really historians and musicologists) spreading the word about classic American music. Hell...it should be the other way around... they should really be paying us for what we do. Especially those bloggers who encourage their readers to go out and buy the music.

If we proposed this to the RIAA...would they be receptive?

For some reason I doubt it.

The Angry Independent said...

Also...

Wordpress is having the same issues. But there may be fewer letters going out there. It has to do with the way that the RIAA and its contractors search the web. Google/Blogger is apparently more accessible to their webcrawlers.

And I forgot all about the IFPI.

I'm surprised you got one from them.

Are they more reasonable than the RIAA?

I don't really have a problem with the DMCA takedown...as a general concept.. but it is being applied poorly.

The takedown procedure should be a last resort...They should first attempt to contact the person they have a problem with directly. If they get no response after a certain time period...or if the dispute isn't settled in a way satisfactory to them... then they should use the takedown letter.

And streaming probably won't work either... I tried that approach.

I'm trying to figure out how the Flashplayer streaming of music is ok via youtube but the Flashplayer streaming by bloggers is not. And I believe it's the same company (blogger and youtube both owned by Google).


Take care

Rob Whatman said...

Hi Jason, and a Merry Christmas despite this set back!

Well, having just today reignited my own blog after giving up due to work, and clicking over to your page, I am wondering if I better just take my post down again quick!

I have a feeling that as long as itunes continues to get enough downloads for its mainstream pop content, it and other industry organisations really don't give a damn what happens to the forgotten artists lying in their vaults, and never did.

Which makes it even more bizarre that they are starting to seek us out, considering their distinct lack of interest in either promoting these songs - or paying for them themselves. Let's not forget that they have a poor record for passing on the funds to the rightful artists!

I am looking into a streaming licence that you can get from a UK organisation called the PPL, that may allow me to continue, but who knows if some Blogger employee won't just cut me off anyway?
Yours,
Rob Whatman

Ant said...

I think its pretty annoying. I would say just put up more obscure tracks that have harder to find copyright info?

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