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Google crackdown on ‘copyright abusing’ blogs

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Internet colossus Google has shut down a number of highly popular music blogs without warning after it was deemed their content breached copyright laws and the company’s terms and conditions.

In what’s been labelled “musicblogoside 2010”, Google has terminated the accounts of six bloggers operating within its much-used Blogspot services, wiping away years of content in the process.

Under the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), hosting companies like Google are required to terminate content that receives copyright complaints from creative industries. If, after investigation, the sites are cleared of abuse then all content is restored.

But some of those accused of abuse have pleaded their innocence and claim Google has followed the letter of the law too religiously.

In an open letter to Google, Bill Lipold, owner of the now closed I Rock Cleveland blog, said: “I assure you that everything I’ve posted for, let’s say, the past two years, has either been provided by a promotional company, came directly from the record label, or came directly from the artist.”

And it is this involvement from technology-embracing record companies that has shocked the affected bloggers.

With the internet now an invaluable tool in product marketing, many writers who host copyrighted material do so under instruction from industry bosses and feel Google’s actions have failed to acknowledge this fact.

Rick Klau, Product Manager for Google’s Blogger, admitted that they “occasionally receive DMCA complaints even though the blogger does have the legal right to link to the music in question”.

As a result, Mr Klau has encouraged those who believe their content was deleted without cause to “file a DMCA counter-claim so we know you have the right to the music in question. Otherwise, if we receive multiple DMCA complaints for your blog, this could very well constitute repeat offences, compelling us to take action.”

But founder of popular underground music blog Masala, Guillaume Decouflet, told the Guardian that “Google is treating bloggers like Big Brother. Shoot first, ask questions later”.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

February 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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