Sad times are afoot. It always felt like it couldn't last forever: blogs posting up MP3s and sharing/giving away the music they love. The legal 'grey area' seems to have been bought into focus with this post from Berkeley Place Indie detailing how their posts have been made private by Wordpress and deleted by the Google owned Blogger/Blogspot. The crazy thing is, the guy in question was posting tracks that labels and PR companies were sending him to share with their blessing - and these posts have been taken down too. Rumblings suggest that this blogger is not alone, and that a whole host of posts are being taken down.
The blogger in question explains:
"A few weeks ago, I posted a collection of covers of songs from the 1980s. To my knowledge, only one of the artists featured in that post had a connection to the RIAA. That was Chris Cornell. But the song that I posted was a live recording, not commercially released. Nevertheless, the post mysteriously disappeared from my site. Over the next few weeks, this happened twice more. Blogger, my host, has been utterly silent on the issue."
He continues to explain that the offending post, from 11 months ago, "was on a band that was independent when I wrote about them, Wild Sweet Orange, and contained only one mp3, which was hosted by RED, an artist development site that Wild Sweet Orange was using for publicity. In other words, it was a legal MP3."_
What's even crazier is that the domino which started this action was based in the UK and contacted the IFPI, (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). He continues:
"The other problem is that the U.S. label may not be aware that the British label hosts MP3s or submits material to blogs, or vice-versa. Thus, the IFPA may send out a notice where the RIAA would not. This is likely why some folks have told me that links to legal mp3s provided by Sneak Attack Media have been the subject of Blogger deletions/takedown notices._
It's all quite crazy and confusing, like most copyright laws in this highly globalised, anything-goes-until-a-precedent-is-set mad world in which we live. Unless there are sensible solutions, such as bandwidth taxes for data transfer or for owning an internet connection and/or a computer, this confusion will continue, embracing technology that can do things will be a minefield and technological creativity will be stifled or more likely forced further underground. It's such a muddle, even people doing legitimate things will be thrown in with every album leaker.
Visit berkeleyplaceindie.blogspot.com to read the full post.