Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Bottom Line is the Law

The bottom line is this: an artist created a song. Copyrighted. It was manufactured by a company. All Rights Reserved.

Anyone who is offended by a blogger posting that work should do something about it.

1. Leave comments. Let the blogger know when something is not cool. Some of you have taken a protest to the street? Donated to a "radical" charity that fights injustice in any way they can? It's a little too easy to call someone a "fink" for being disgusted by a blogger abusing and using a performer's work for selfish reasons.

2. Report the link and file a complaint. Internet websites, especially Blogspot (owned by Google), Google itself, Ebay, Yahoo, Lycos, etc., have "Terms of Service" clauses and know that being on the Internet doesn't mean being above the law.

3. If you aren't the copyright owner, contact the record label, the star's website, or an organization such as RIAA. They may remove the link, or, if the blogger is truly evil, make sure the entire blog is taken down. At blogger, complaints go to:

Blogger Legal Support, DMCA complaints
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy
Mountain View, CA 94043

Everyone from Eminem to Brian Wilson is against the lawless "sharing" of whole in print albums by the hundred on reckless blogs. The information is here:

The site has similar remarks to make.

Bloggers should not expect artists or their employees to go through all the time and effort of politely contacting the blog, "proving" they are indeed the party being abused, and then gently request the item be removed. They also shouldn't have the nerve to deprive others of royalties and earnings and then ask for Paypal donations. They should BE the fans they pretend to be and blog responsibly.

That means to encourage people to buy the music. If the item is out of print, maybe the right thing to do is check if the album is an easy find at record stores or eBay or GEMM, and ask that fans support those in the record industry who have made it their job and their pleasure to rescue old vinyl from the trash, clean it, file it, and offer it at a fair market price.

Sharing music responsibly is the same as drinking responsibly. Otherwise you hurt innocent people.