Chilling Effects
Home Weather Reports Report Receiving a Cease and Desist Notice Search the Database Topics
Sending
Monitoring the legal climate for Internet activity
Chilling Effects
 Chilling Effects Clearinghouse > Weather Reports > Bloggers Cry Foul in Google Music Blog Takedowns Printer-friendly version
 Quick Search:
 Site Guide

Clearinghouse Topic Areas:

  • ACPA
  • Anticircumvention (DMCA)
  • Copyright
  • Copyright and Fair Use
  • Court Orders
  • Defamation
  • Derivative Works
  • DMCA Notices
  • DMCA Safe Harbor
  • DMCA Subpoenas
  • Documenting Your Domain Defense
  • Domain Names and Trademarks
  • E-Commerce Patents
  • Fan Fiction
  • International
  • John Doe Anonymity
  • Linking
  • No Action
  • Patent
  • Piracy or Copyright Infringement
  • Protest, Parody and Criticism Sites
  • Responses
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Right of Publicity
  • Trade Secret
  • Trademark
  • UDRP
  • Uncategorized


  • stormy

    Bloggers Cry Foul in Google Music Blog Takedowns

    David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, February 17, 2010

    Abstract: Music bloggers are up in arms over Google's removal of six popular music blogs. Google claims it deleted the blogs after receiving multiple Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices alleging that the blogs allowed readers to download copyrighted works without the owner's permission. The dispute appears to arise partially from an aggressive stance taken by Google in response to industry takedown notices and partially from a lack of understanding of DMCA takedown procedures by the blog owners.



    Music bloggers are up in arms over Google's removal of six popular music blogs, I Rock Cleveland, It’s a Rap, Living Ears, To Die By Your Side, Masala and Pop Tarts, from blogging sites it owns

    Music bloggers are up in arms over Google's removal of six popular music blogs, I Rock Cleveland, It’s a Rap, Living Ears, To Die By Your Side, Masala and Pop Tarts, from blogging sites it owns. Google claims it deleted the blogs after receiving multiple Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices alleging that the blogs allowed readers to download copyrighted works without the owners’ permission.  (Google has since reinstated one of the blogs, Masala, describing its deletion as a mistake.)  The blog owners complain that the blogs were deleted before they received notice of the violations and at least one blog owner insists that he had permission to post all of the music files on his blog from the copyright holders.

     

    This dispute appears to arise partially from an aggressive stance taken by Google in response to industry takedown notices and partially from a lack of understanding of DMCA takedown procedures by the blog owners.  Under the provisions of the DMCA, a service provider like Google can protect itself from liability for copyright infringement if it removes infringing material quickly when notified by a copyright holder.  It must also notify the individual who posted material that it may file a counter-notice protesting the removal.  If a counter-notice is filed, the service provider then must forward it to the complaining party.  If the complaining party does not file a claim in court in 14 days, the materials must be restored to the Internet.  The statute requires the complaining party to clearly identify the material it claims ownership of and provide “information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material” claimed to be infringing.  A service provider who follows these procedures is also protected against a lawsuit from the individual whose material was taken down.  Note that the service provider does not have any responsibility to determine who is correct or if the material actually is in violation of the complaining party’s copyright.   It merely has to mechanically follow the procedures in the DMCA to protect itself from legal liability from either the complaining party or the individual that posted the material.  While the procedure described above requires the service provider to remove only the offending item upon receipt of a proper takedown notice, the DMCA does require the service provider to have a policy in place to terminate the accounts of individuals who are repeat infringers.  However, neither the DMCA nor Google define what constitutes a repeat offender.  Google only states that “[w]hen we receive multiple DMCA complaints about the same blog, and have no indication that the offending content is being used in an authorized manner, we will remove the blog

     

    One complaint by the bloggers is that the takedown notices forwarded to them by Google do not provide enough information for them to file a proper counter-notice. In particular, many of the notices only provide the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a blog page, which may contain links to dozens of files, but fail to identify either the copyrighted work or the location of the allegedly infringing file as required by the DMCA.  Nevertheless, Google accepts the arguably faulty takedown notice as valid notification of infringing behavior by that blog owner.  Even if the blogger is able to identify and delete a complained-of link, it appears that he or she is considered an infringer, thus coming closer to being labeled a “repeat offender” subject to account termination.   Since there appears to be no way to clear Google's infringement counter, even a blogger who attempts to only post noninfringing material and immediately removes links to an infringing file when notified is likely to find his or her account terminated for repeat infringement over a long enough time period. 

     

    On the other hand, bloggers harm themselves by failing to file counter-notifications when they are accused of infringement erroneously. Indeed, Google warns bloggers that they must file a DMCA counterclaim to avoid having their account terminated.  If a blogger files a proper counter-notice and the complaining party then fails to file a lawsuit, the material must be reinstated and Google should not count the incident as an infringement leading to repeat offender status.

     

     


    Chilling Effects Clearinghouse - www.chillingeffects.org
    disclaimer / privacy / about us & contacts