In the past couple days, the Great Copyright Fight of 2010 has really exploded in the news. You may have seen it referred to as Musicblogocide 2010, but I like my name better. That’s just me.
I wish I could give you an update, but I have yet to hear anything from the IFPI or Google. Their official stance is that I should file a counter claim. Hmm…file a counter claim and wait 3 months for it all to get sorted out and risk a court fight and maybe get my old site back, or…accept the absurdity of the situation. And make no mistake, this whole thing is absurd. Of all the claims filed against me in the past year, each and every one of them were for tracks provided by the record label with permission to use that track for promotional purposes.
The latest claim, the one which may have ultimately led to the deletion of the original I Rock Cleveland on blogger, may have been this one. You have to search a bit for it — it’s in there with hundreds of other claims simultaneously filed by the IFPI, but it’s in there. The absurdity of this claim, and again this is absurd, is that once again it was for a label supplied track (This time Mute Records) and the link in question is more than two years old. Now, regular visitors know that I routinely rotate the mp3s on this site in an effort to control bandwidth. Typically, any mp3 link is only active for one month, two months at most. Consequently, the claim which led to my deletion was for an mp3 which had been removed from my server two years ago!
If at this point you’re drawing the conclusion that neither the IFPI nor google know exactly what they’re doing in these matters, you’re not alone. If at any point during the DMCA claim process a human being had clicked on the link and looked for the infringing content they wouldn’t have found an mp3, but a 404 with the message, “Sorry, dude. The rockin’ has stopped. Please be aware that downloads from I Rock Cleveland are only available for a limited time. You can find more Rock ‘N’ Roll at I Rock Cleveland.” Not only is the IFPI’s piracy bot not sophisticated enough to distinguish between approved and non-approved content, it’s not smart enough to validate the links it has flagged as containing pirated material.
Personally, I’m about ready to put this all behind me and move on with this new site. Come Monday, you’ll see no further mentions of IFPI, DMCA, google, or any of that business. Come Monday, we’ll be back in the business of talking about music.
Hopefully, something good will come out of this. Hopefully, we — the bloggers, pr firms, labels, artists, trade groups, and hosts — can all get on the same page and set up procedures whereby trusted sites and pre-approved promo tracks are removed from the IFPI’s piracy bot; A system where bloggers who maintain good working relationships with the labels and artists can avoid going through all the hassles I’ve gone through in the past few days. And hopefully, the IFPI fires the guy who wrote that sh*tty code. If there’s one person I blame for this fiasco, it’s him.