Sound Familiar?

Some of you may have noticed the sudden disappearance of two of my posts.

The first time was unusual. I received no notification of removal… I had posted a number of dance songs, with the typical intention of exposing any lovely readers of my blog to new artists.

It was removed. I thought this was an action taken by Elbows (a blogroll I’m listed with: see links to the left). But they didn’t know what I was gabbing on about.
Being a man of the Y generation, and therefore always writing and in the past commenting on forums, I have quickly learnt that written words on the net are disposable. You are likely to be “modded” or censored in some way at some point in your life online (particularly if you contribute passionately to forum debates).
So I shrugged my shoulders and left it at that.

Then it happened again. This time to a post I’d spent a lot more time constructing. And I hadn’t saved the draft of it (silly me). So I was cranky…

I checked my email account and I was shocked (though not entirely surprised) to find this little message in my inbox:

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, 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 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://ahasbeenthatneverwas.blogspot.com/2008/09/festivus.html

Thank you, Blogger Team. It is nice to be notified this time around, I’ll give you that much.

Since then I have noticed that a number of bloggers (all hosted on blogspot) have received the same notification.

I understand these copyright people (chilling effects?) are doing their job to protect the legal property surrounding music.
What I don’t understand is how they believe this approach (or any) will prevent music sharing on the internet.

The first music sharing program taken to court was Napster.
Poor Metallica who must’ve been struggling to make a dollar, felt afflicated by Napster when a demo of one of their songs made its way into the program’s library. Rather than attributing sales loss to the noticable degradation in the quality of their sound, Metallica decided eager music lovers trying to save a dollar were the reason behind why the band members have now been driven to homelessness. So to ensure they still had bread on the table they sued.

Once Napster got the wooden spoon from the District Attorney splinter groups emerged. Limewire, Soulseek… You could now decide which program operated the most efficiently and carried the biggest music library. Business-minded determination emerged from the ashes of Napster.

Now we have torrents. If I choose to (and I do not condone this) I can download an entire album in 20 minutes!
It used to take longer to download that Metallica demo, I’m pretty sure.

And we have bloggers. People who willingly endorse the music of a number of musicians, regardless of who they are, how much money they have or whether or not they believe suiing for music “copyrighting” is a good way to invest in more property.

Strangely it seems out of these two it is bloggers who are now bearing the brunt of the next wave in “legal control” over music sharing. Whether or not bloggers are promoting the music, possibly increasing music sales internationally, doesn’t seem to be a question worth investigating. Best to stifle this enthusiastic burst in love of music with a blanket.

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