Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Words

Halloween came early last week in the form of a Blogger takedown notice and threats regarding the DMCA. By far I'm not the only house on the block being paid a visit. Blogger has been a-knocking on lots of doors and they're clearly not here for tricks or treats, though I'd love to dump a handful of peanuts and unwrapped apples in their bag. Also, those nasty orange and black things in wax paper, ugh. To this point, I haven't really gotten too upset since I've knowingly not been overly vigilant about what I post-- I mean, my blog tagline states as much-- but the most frightening and disturbing aspect of this whole affair is hearing the accounts of fellow bloggers.

Our pal Boyhowdy at Cover Lay Down had a post taken down for a file he recorded live AND received written permission from the artist in question. Chad at Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands is considering packing it in after a tribute to Elliot Smith with perfectly legit public domain mp3s was unceremoniously removed. Ekko at Berkeley Place is having posts deleted left and right. The list goes on and on... This one was particularly ridiculous: Ed at 17 Seconds had a year-old post featuring an entire interview with Glasvegas deleted even though the post contained no valid MP3 links, which were links to free demo songs anyway. Apparently I was lucky I even got a notice. Some bloggers' posts have just gone AWOL with no explanation whatsoever, which makes me wonder if that's already happened to me since I don't often peruse my own archives...

I seriously doubt there's some malicious reader going around submitting complaints about all the posts in question. Last year, Viacom spammed YouTube with 100,000 DMCA takedown notices based on an indiscriminate blanket search of the site's videos. I think something similar is happening here on behalf of some big wig record company.

Setting the Woods on Fire just posted an excellent piece on these issues facing music bloggers.

The future is decidedly unfriendly right now, but don't expect me to quit blogging over it. I'm still a little leery right now about even posting legit mp3s so for now I've got words, just words.

An MP3-less Playlist:

1. Randy Newman - Strange Things
When from out of the sky like a bomb comes some little punk in a rocket,
now all of a sudden some strange things are happening to me.

From the Toy Story soundtrack, this song accompanies a montage of Woody realizing that the times they are a-changin' as Buzz Lightyear comes on the scene. That had a happy ending, right?

2. The Crickets - I Fought the Law
I remember some time in high school when I found out The Clash's I Fought the Law was a cover, proudly sharing the fact that the original was by the Bobby Fuller Four. Turns out that was a cover too! The original was by The Crickets, post-Buddy Holly.

3. The Shins - We Will Become Silhouettes [originally by The Postal Service]
I'm not coming out until this is all over.
One of my favourite covers.

4. The Flying Lizards - Money (That's What I Want) [originally performed by Barrett Strong]

5. Brie Larson - Unbelievable [originally by EMF]
Crumbelievable OH!

6. OK Go & Bonerama - Rock & Roll Suicide [originally by David Bowie]
Here's my endorsement for favourite cover song of the year.
**Update: I was reminded by a reader that this comes from an OK Go & Bonerama benefit EP for New Orleans musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The 5-song EP is only $3.49 on iTunes and includes a rousing Bonerama horn section on some OK Go songs like A Million Ways in addition to the Bowie cover. Definitely worth a purchase.

7. Hard Attack - Land of Confusion [originally by Genesis]

8. Sertab Erener - Music [originally by Madonna]
Music makes the people come together.

9. The Raconteurs - Keep It Clean (live) [originally by Charlie Jordan]

10. Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts - Words That We Couldn't Say

11. Robert Plant - For What It's Worth [originally by Buffalo Springfield]

12. GrimSkunk - Rockin' in the Free World [originally by Neil Young]


Heather said...

Is Words That We Couldn't Say a cover? Or just a really awesome song?

Fongolia said...

Not a cover, though it does bear some similarity to Sting's Shape of My Heart. I wouldn't say it's really awesome, though I do like it. It's from one of the Cowboy Bebop soundtracks.

a Tart said...

Thank you for posting about this issue and for all the great music you've shared AND talked about on this fabulous blog. BOTH are invaluable xoxoxo

Fongolia said...

Your kind words and support are appreciated. Thanks!

ekko said...

Dude, you commented that you had a feed showing my last deleted post (not quite the best of the '80s). If you could send me the raw text, I'd appreciate it.


Anonymous said...

Damn, Fong, this takedown is crap! Fight The Man, brother! And I was looking forward for days to delving into the 80's covers. I'd seen them up before and went "I gotta get to those soon." Now its too late. Me sad :-(

Regardless, thanks for the awesome blog. I've been turned on to many new (to me) artists and have BOUGHT, (yes, SPENT MONEY) on CD's I would never had taken a second look at.

So chew on that DMCA assholes!

BTW, as you are in Canada, you are not subject to the DMCA. Why are your posts down?

Anonymous said...

That OK Go song is part of a benefit EP with all the money going to help New Orleans musicians who were displaced by Katrina. It's not a bad cause, so here's the link in case anyone wants to buy the thing on iTunes.

Fongolia said...

Anonymous #1:
I may not be subject to the DMCA as a Canadian, but that doesn't stop Google who under DMCA safe harbor provisions must immediately take down posts regardless of the legitimacy of the complaint. The counter measures that bloggers can pursue are complex, time-consuming, and especially pointless considering I was sharing music. I prefer just to take down the links and leave the words up there.

Anonymous #2:
You're right, I should have provided that iTunes link in the first place. It slipped my mind that that was a benefit EP. I actually stumbled upon that while originally searching for Bonerama in iTunes.

j. said...

A sad thing in deed. I really enjoyed this site a lot and was coming regularly to get a good dose of covers. I'll keep coming back regardless. Thank you for all the great songs you discovered for several of us.

Fongolia said...

I'll get back to posting mp3s eventually (i.e. tomorrow). I've got a few great posts up my sleeve that theoretically should be immune from Google bullying.

priyanga said...

i found you after my long time favorite copy comma right blog stopped. thank you for all your great posts, you've introduced me to many new artists and attitudes.

funny that even presidential candidate is bitching about how unfair dmca is and asking for special treatment. let's hope policy moves into the 21st century.

meanwhile, hope to see you back with more content.

persevere. thrive.

Kurtis said...

Hey Fong, as of yet, I haven't received any letter or found missing posts on my site, but I am going to now keep an eye on the number of posts as indicated on my blogger dashboard.

I hope you do not get taken down. I hope I don't get taken down too.