i got a spam comment from Anonymous – Operation Titstorm this morning. while i agree with anonymous’ motivation for such action, i am not part of the australian government and not in a position where i can do much of anything except agree with their motivation for their actions. go anonymous, but please go do it somewhere where it’ll make a difference, okay? mass spamming of random blogs is a really good way to make a lot more people not want to deal with you any longer.
Google shuts down music blogs without warning – this is the same company which has recently announced a “1GB bandwidth internet connection to every home” deal that is in the works. making it even more likely that, whether you like it or not, google will have access to all of your data. the fact that google already has their hands in pretty much everything from where you’re going to be to who you’re going to be there with and everything in between, their Gmail was marketed with “never delete another email, EVER” propaganda (which nobody seems to remember these days), and they are in bed with the CIA and have a team of specialists ready to scan every bit of information the unwitting public feeds into their jaws makes their “Don’t be evil” company motto a bit of a malapropism.
People browse by search (or ReadWriteWeb faces the Facebook Login problem) – of course, the problem is confounded by the fact that people don’t seem willing to actually learn what this computer-thingy on their desks is for to begin with. a very good example of this is one of my clients, who regularly calls me because he thinks his “anti-virus software is tired” of zapping viruses on his windows machine, or the fact that he can’t type into his computer because the keyboard is unplugged and he didn’t realise it.
Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to ‘eradicate’ their beliefs – no, hate crime laws are an effort to crack down on hate crimes… if your beliefs are the direct cause of the hate crime, then you’ve got something to worry about. if not, claiming that hate crime laws are an effort to eradicate “christianity” just makes you appear to be really, REALLY stupid, regardless of where you obtained your law degree. even a fifth grader can see that constitutionally protected speech does not apply, when it is clearly written into the law to begin with… ☹
New National Security Distraction: Arabic Language Students – a white-bread american physics major from pomona college is a terrorist, according to TSA officials and the FBI, who spent several hours handcuffed, under arrest and being questioned by no fewer than seven law enforcement officials, but unable to obtain legal council, because he tried to board a plane with… wait for it… not liquids, not matches, not a bomb. arabic flash cards. TSA Supervisor: You know who did 9/11? George: Osama bin Laden. TSA Supervisor: Do you know what language he spoke? George: Arabic. — therefore, you are a terrorist, because you are learning arabic… WHO TRAINS THESE PEOPLE ANYWAY?!? it’s a wonder that i am as nice to strangers as i am… 8/
finally, Security patch results in BSOD – i think this may actually be an improvement in win
dowsdoesn’t operation. at least now you go directly to the BSOD, rather than thinking your computer might actually be doing what it is supposed to before you go there. this is exactly the reason i don’t use microsoft products any longer. they’re releasing internet explorer eight with the same unfixed bugs in it that i reported to them before they released IE three, and they still haven’t even made an attempt to fix them. why people think that microsoft cares about anything other than making as much money as possible while exerting as little actual work as possible is totally beyond me.
Google shuts down music blogs without warning
Bloggers told they have violated terms without further explanation, as years of archives are wiped off the internet
11 February 2010
By Sean Michaels
In what critics are calling “musicblogocide 2010”, Google has deleted at least six popular music blogs that it claims violated copyright law. These sites, hosted by Google’s Blogger and Blogspot services, received notices only after their sites – and years of archives – were wiped from the internet.
“We’d like to inform you that we’ve received another complaint regarding your blog,” begins the cheerful letter received by each of the owners of Pop Tarts, Masala, I Rock Cleveland, To Die By Your Side, It’s a Rap and Living Ears. All of these are music-blogs – sites that write about music and post MP3s of what they are discussing. “Upon review of your account, we’ve noted that your blog has repeatedly violated Blogger’s Terms of Service … [and] we’ve been forced to remove your blog. Thank you for your understanding.”
Jolly as Google may be, none of the bloggers who received these notices are “understanding” in the least. Although such sites once operated on the internet’s fringes, almost exclusively posting songs without permission, many blogs are now wined, dined and even paid (via advertising) by record labels. After the success of blog-buzzy acts such as Arcade Fire, Lily Allen and Vampire Weekend, entire PR firms are dedicated to courting armchair DJs and amateur critics.
Despite the de facto alliance between labels and blogs, not all of the record companies’ legal teams have received the message. In a complaint posted to Google Support, Bill Lipold, the owner of I Rock Cleveland, cited four cases in the past year when he had received copyright violation notices for songs he was legally entitled to post. Tracks by Jay Reatard, Nadja, BLK JKS and Spindrift all attracted complaints under the USA’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act, even when the respective MP3s were official promo tracks. As a publicist for BLK JKS’ label, Secretly Canadian, told Lipold: “Apparently DMCA operate on their own set of odd rules, as they even requested that the BLK JKS’ official blog remove the song.” It’s not clear who “DMCA” is in this case, as the act does not defend itself.
“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,” Lipold wrote to Google.
The company’s first official response came only late yesterday, as #Musicblogocide2k10 sped up Twitter’s trending charts. “When we receive multiple DMCA complaints about the same blog, and have no indication that the offending content is being used in an authorised manner, we will remove the blog,” explained product manager Rick Klau. “[If] this is the result of miscommunication by staff at the record label, or confusion over which MP3s are ‘official’ … it is imperative that you file a DMCA counter-claim so we know you have the right to the music in question.”
The trouble with filing a formal, legal DMCA counter-claim is, that most bloggers don’t know how. What’s more, many of Blogger’s DMCA notices allegedly omit the name of the offending song. Bloggers aren’t even sure what they are denying.
Take the case of Masala, co-founded by Guillaume Decouflet in mid-2005. Together with his partners, Decouflet has introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to underground genres such as kuduro and funk carioca. Masala’s writers weren’t typical music bloggers, waxing lyrical about Neon Indian and the new Phoenix remix: mostly DJs, they shared South African electronica, Japanese dancehall, UK funky and Senegalese hip-hop. “We haven’t been posting any Whitney Houston or anything,” Decouflet explained. He only recalls receiving one DMCA notice – ever – from Blogger. As this email did not name the offending song, he says he doesn’t know what caused the complaint. Masala’s bloggers responded to Google’s email, Decouflet insists, but never heard back. That is, until their entire site – and more than four years of archives – were deleted this week.
“It’s just sad because we were documenting young people’s music from all around the globe,” Decouflet said. “For a lot of people, it was music they wouldn’t have been able to discover elsewhere.” Decouflet is now trying to “salvage” the Masala archive, using Google’s own Reader tool to dig up old posts. Other banished blogs have taken similar steps. Living Ears, It’s a Rap and Pop Tarts have relaunched at new URLs, generally without any older material.
Not all music blogs are as innocent as I Love Cleveland and Masala. Although the majority of bloggers share only single songs, showing particular affection for the obscure and out of print, some blogs are the most banal sort of pirates – offering links to download entire new releases. However, these sites are ostracised by the blogging mainstream, left off aggregators such as the Hype Machine. No one protests when Google quietly removes their Blogspot accounts and yet ironically, amid the “musicblogocide”, dozens of these still remain online.
The two largest Blogspot-hosted music blogs, Gorilla vs Bear and My Old Kentucky Home, show no sign of being affected, although they will still find these developments alarming. “I don’t post anything that’s not approved, and obviously nothing on major labels,” said Gorilla vs Bear’s Chris Cantalini. “But apparently that doesn’t matter in some of these cases.”
In a press release last year, Google seemed to recognise this distinction, announcing a new policy vis-a-vis music bloggers. From now on, it wrote, DMCA notices would not result in the instant deletion of offending blogs. Instead, individual posts would be temporarily removed, with a prominent notice to help bloggers respond to the allegations. “Music bloggers are a large segment of our users – and we know that for those who’ve received one or more DMCA complaints in the past, this may have been a frustrating experience,” Klau wrote in August. Almost six months later, the experience doesn’t appear to have become any less frustrating.
Decouflet sounds weary. “Google is treating bloggers like Big Brother,” he said. “Shoot first, ask questions after.”