Google Commits Blogocide, Shuts Down Music Blogs
Google has dominated the tech-news cycle for the last few days. The Internet is still abuzz with news of Buzz, and Google's foray into the ISP business is attracting plenty of press, as well. But not all of the coverage has been for positive reasons. The company has found itself embroiled in a scandal that has been dubbed "musicblogocide2010" by the Twitterverse.
Several popular music blogs, including Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, Masala, I Rock Cleveland, To Die By Your Side, It's a Rap and Living Ears, all found themselves unceremoniously expunged from Google's Blogger service in response to DMCA take-down notices. It wasn't until after the fact that Google sent an e-mail to the owners of the sites reading, "Upon review of your account, we've noted that your blog has repeatedly violated Blogger's Terms of Service" -- further explaining that Google had been forced to remove their content.
Unfortunately, none of the bloggers are quite sure of what the offending material was. More often than not, take-down notices don't identify what the particular song was that has been posted in violation of copyright law. Pop Tart's Pat Duffy has some suspicions, though, and shared the possibilities to his re-launched site. Bill Lipold, of I Rock Cleveland, told the Guardian that sometimes record labels send take-down notices for songs that are in fact legal to post, such as promotional singles, only adding to the confusion.
Most of the affected sites have all relaunched at new URLs, and some were able to salvage their archives thanks to Google Reader. (Apparently the RSS feeds survived for sometime after the blogs went down.) What is particularly confusing about the debacle is how Google's actions violated its own stated policy. In August of last year, Blogger announced it would no longer remove entire blogs in response to DMCA complaints, but instead temporarily remove individual posts. [Update: Google has asked us to clarify that its policy of temporarily taking down individual posts does not apply to repeat offenders, which all of the removed blogs were]
Not all is lost, however. Pat Duffy said (via Twitter), "[Being] taken off blogger may be the best thing ever to happen to poptartssucktoasted.com." He finally moved his blog over to the aforementioned URL, which he bought several years ago, and got a swanky new design along with loads of free, sympathetic press.
Google, on the other hand, just has more people questioning the sincerity of its "do no evil" ethos. [From: The Guardian]