This morning on Pitchfork, I read an alarming story regarding the recent and heightened spate of "blogspot" music blog "take downs." Blogger, which is owned by Google, has the right to literally eviscerate any blog that hosts copyrighted material, or material that is perceived to be copyrighted. Is Google's decision to shut down any given music blog arbitrary? Not exactly. Before such drastic action is taken, Google/blogger is initially notified by a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint presented by a music artist or the record company (indie or major) representing them. From there, Blogger temporarily suspends the post(s) in question and informs the blogger of the DMCA complaint. The real sting comes when a number of DMCA complaints for any given blog accumulates and Google decides to remove the blog from the web in it's entirety without any warning, and with ZERO storage or retention of the data contained therein - all in an instant. The curator of a blog removed under these circumstances has no recourse whatsoever. As a recent article on the Daily Swarm illustrates, Google's policy is guilty until proven innocent.
I'm as vulnerable as anyone. I would like to reiterate the disclaimer in my Blogger profile. If you're an artist (or an official representative thereof) who's music appears on this site, and you would like something removed, please email me directly PRONTO, and I will address any concerns as soon as possible. For the record, since beginning Wilfully Obscure in the spring of 2007, I have only received two DMCA removal requests.
In the future, I will be especially cautious about what I share on these pages, particularly if it is commercially available from an online retailer (like Amazon), iTunes, or similar digital music vendors. More to follow.