Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My DMCA Takedown Should Have Never Happened

The recent removal by Blogger of a post has been the source of frustration to me. This is not an mp3 blog and it never has been. For the past six years I have been very careful to only link to what I believed to be legitimate sites because I sincerely care about music and want people to financially support music that I also enjoy. Imagine my surprise when I logged into Blogger this week to discover a notice that a post from this blog had been removed because a claim had been filed accusing an offense of copyright law. The entry had been taken down last month, which speaks to how often I update this blog, and Blogger had sent me an email at the time to an account I rarely check. This is my DMCA takedown notification.
Puzzled as to what I am accused of I followed Blogger's path and found the complaint against me which was quite lengthy so it has been cut into three screen snippets.
I read nothing specific that I personally was accused of but the thrust of the complaint was that my post was one of many that contained links to "unauthorized copies of sound recordings that are freely available". This is simply not the case in my post. All the links I provided in my post linked to completely legitimate sites. One link would have taken you to the source of my Pitchfork quote, another to an official band page on's version of and the final link would have taken to free download of the Junior Boys song I was praising that was hosted on their label's website. If these are not legitimate websites what could ever be appropriate? Better yet, every single one of the links are no longer functional. The Pitchfork review is no longer at that address, has been shuttered with the link now being redirected to and now redirects Domino's music store where you can buy Junior Boys "In The Morning" after a brief search.
The origin of the complaint that removed my post is IFPI, or the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, based out of London, UK. The group describes themselves as an umbrella organization for "any company, firm or person producing sound recordings or music videos which are made available to the public in reasonable quantities" but make a point of their association with the RIAA on their website. The benefit of joining include "internet monitoring and closing of illegal sites" which lead me to believe that they are billing record companies for "services" like killing my post which directs readers to the record label's own website. I don't blame Google for removing the post because there are only so many lawsuits they can fight but I find it extremely distressing that a legal team that is supposedly doing record labels a service is shutting down posts that have zero negative consequences and have the potential to help sell some more of their product.

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