Saturday, February 25, 2012

And the Gutting of Mediafire Begins...


I've got my first take-down notices, plural, from Mediafire this week. Traditionally things would just disappear from my 'shared files' list but now they're getting aggressive and taking down things like this live Mike Ness bootleg that has never been commercially available in any way, shape or form.

Artists and their representatives do have a right to have material taken down, whether it's a commercial release or not and no one here disputes that. However, I wish that all concerned understood that blogs like this one, and so many more, exist to give exposure to under-appreciated or as yet little-known artists  We intend no harm to musicians or those who work with them and are willing to do our research to ensure our blogs are not undercutting the very artists we seek to elevate.

I've spoken with dozens of musicians whose work has been featured here from Joey Keithley from DOA to Graham Parker to Dr. Frank of the Mr. T Experience to TV Smith of The Adverts to Kurt Bloch of Fastbacks and many, many others, all of whom have been happy to note that we celebrate music here, keeping alive things that were neglected in some way. Seriously, in four and a half years not one artist has been anything less than happy at what they see here.

So pull down our files, if you believe that what's best in this day and age. But non-commercial blogs that spread unavailable music should not be treated as pirates for, materially speaking, we gain nothing and take nothing. Music bloggers work hard for no real external reward. Bloggers that both promote music and studiously avoid commercially available material are a part of the the music world now and should be accorded respect.

33 comments:

  1. I feel ya man! They just took down a podcast by 2 of my friends ,of them just taliking ,no music is even played! Also a lot of my own personal bands have had removals! I don't even post commercial stuff ,I hates it! I look for things that are not posted anywhere ,plus my own projects ,and bands of my friends ,etc. so nothing should be stricken from my blog ,but they do it anyway.All of us bloggers need to stick together ,see if we can find some legal help ,and maybe sue these bastards for fucking up our shit!!! The future of music is FREE!! Bands will only make money by touring and selling merchandise ,including hard copies of their music ,for those not in-the-know enough to realize MUSIC IS FREE!!!Anarchy and chaos ,oi oi oi!!!!

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    1. "All of us bloggers need to stick together "
      Amen!

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  2. I know of a record company on youtube that took down a video of a band when the uploader had personal permission from the band.

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  3. It really is sad state for music lovers. Blogs like this have re-kindled my love (& obsessiveness!) for music. First all the decent radio stations were replaced by homogenized stations that all sounded the same, now music sharing (non pirated) is being wiped out, soon there will no no more independent music stores to go to - especially once they phase out CDs after this year.

    I appreciate all the time and effort you put into this blog Jeff. You have helped me discover many new & old bands over the past few years. Hopefully the blog can live on...

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    1. thanks for the good words, we'll carry on for as long as we can.

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  4. That's what I fear is the gutting of Mediafire. I'm sorry it's happening to you. Rapidshare has gone slow again at 30kbps and then stops and starts again so now it takes an hour or more just to DL one record. It's not looking good. I won't give up if you don't. <3 ~Chel

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    1. "I won't give up if you don't."
      Deal!!!

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  5. It's a short-sighted, greed-based strategy on the part of the powers-that-be. They may stop blogs like yours and mine, but it'll eventually lead to the end of the music industry as we know it, for better or worse. I suspect for the better, as it will create a militancy in both artists and fans alike to completely bypass the corporate middleman. They can't put the digital genie back in the bottle, after all.

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    1. "They can't put the digital genie back in the bottle."
      Damn, you're all putting it more succinctly than I did!

      Delete
  6. This sucks, plus I can't hardly download anything via Mediafire anymore, anyway! Whatever they changed recently (about a month or two ago) doesn't work with my computer at home...

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    1. Mediafire itself is working for me - but the new deletion-happy approach is worrisome.

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  7. I golden age of music sharing died when MegaUpload was seized. Sine then, several other file hosts have curtailed their services and it has emboldened the music industry to ramp up their efforts.

    For me, the difficult thing is that anyone can ask to have music taken down, and they don't have to display that they have the autority to act on the musician's behalf. These removals for unreleased and band-approved material may not have come from the RIAA but from a troll or a competing band.

    Google has the most to lose from this as thousands of their blogs will wither away. But sine they have their own music service, they're not likely to put up a fight. It's time that we move to forums where our uploads can be concealed from search engines and those who wish to remove our posts. The industry still has the ability to search the file hosts, but trolls won't bother with that so you have some protection.

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  9. Damn, this is getting frustrating, not to mention a tad scary for someone like myself who is hosting almost a thousand recordings that are commercially unavailable. Are bloggers really making that much of a dent? Better individual files be purged than entire blogs outright, but this is becoming more and more of a battle. Keep fighting the good fight, and we'll do the same.

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    1. Thanks Spavid, I think the conviction that what we're doing is good for music and musicians is what keeps us going.

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  10. i don't think it's about individual artists flexing their muscle over obscure commercially-unavailable recordings.

    it's about labels and RIAA's being able to paint piracy with a broad brush, and it's easier for them to err on the side of "oops, that shouldn't have been taken down, we cast the net too broadly" than "we're going to look at every infringing post one at a time."

    i think it will continue, but if blogs+mediafire get shut down, some new medium will come around. just think, 20 years ago, it was CD-R's being traded or sold in swap meets. 10 years before that, cassettes being traded.

    technology is making the sharing of information/files easier and faster. SOMEONE out there is already doing whatever the next method will be, but most of us just don't know about it. i think we're all getting networked fast enough that word will spread through the blog scene fast enough when it becomes time to migrate.

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    1. I'm ready to migrate platforms but I love the openness of the blog...

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  11. If the "music business" wants to stop people posting currently available albums they should have thought about that when they started the ridiculous practice of releasing new albums three or four times, with each successive release having different track lists. Nobody wanted to buy an album that many times to get all the different tracks... it was just short sighted greed. "See the public? They'll swallow any old shit".
    As for long deleted/unavailable music - stopping access to that is a form of censorship that I for one think is absolutely typical of the current capitalist/fascist regimes that hold sway in the western world. Fuck 'em all...

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    1. Yeah short-sightedness of the music industry is maddening!

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  12. I think veganboyjosh is right, they're definitely "shotgunning it" as far as what gets taken down -- sometimes, I don't even think it's the actual label that's behind it, because a lot of the takedowns are totally random, as if they're being supervised by a third party that doesn't really know what they're doing.

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    1. I'd like to know who is behind this pointlessness...

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  13. Got one myself recently.....over a goddamn MC5 album? THE MC5? my post, I'm certain, prevented the goddamn MC5 from selling literally thousands of records? The goddamn MC5 didn't sell thousands of records when they were active, let alone now.....who the hell is being harmed by educating some damn ignorant kid about their legacy?

    If you are as old as me, perhaps you remember that CASSETTE TAPING (Cassette TAPING!) was going to "destroy" the music business....this is not a joke, although it may sound like one to the under-40's.....one more time: NOTHING will destroy the music business quicker than SHITTY MUSIC. Talk about whining over a property line while your fucking houe is on fire.....

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  14. I would suggest for the time being to encrypt and password the rar files, and give them shorthand or code names. That way they can't open it to see the names of the files and can't tell what it is from the main file name.

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  15. Blaming the music business is silly when it's US politics that lead to the raid and arrest of Kim Dotcom of Megaupload. It was inevitable that other file sharing acts were going to take down files.

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  16. I'm sure the record labels aren't actually reading the blogs and making decisions based upon whether or not it's "educational" or if the band sold a lot of records or not ("hmmm, we'll let this MC5 record go... no Huey Lewis and The News, though"). I'm sure it's just property to them -- if they find a name through a Google search or something, they'll want it taken down, and it doesn't matter how well-written or nice-seeming the blog itself is. I'm sure they never even look at the blog.

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  17. For those of you who think it's just the US government and not the music business closing down sites, your naivety is showing. Who do you think runs the US government? Big business has been for a long time and that includes the music business. Lobbyists with big money have no problem finding willing politicians to take their cash and introduce their handwritten bills to Congress. The entertainment industry also hires trackers and informants to browse blog sites and uploading businesses, as well as ISPs (bandwidth usage) to also curb usage. Most bloggers are playing by the rules, but when a few bad ones upload the newest CD or movie, we get an overreaction like the seizure of megaupload without due process.

    Let's not miss the big picture, here. Apparently, the US Government feels it owns and may legally police the internet. Someone tell me how and why this is still being allowed? Congressmen were yelling from their seats for internet freedom when it happened during Arab Spring and social networking, but look at them now. Pathetic. Thy should all be ashamed of themselves.

    By the way, what's going to happen to the 99% of legal files that were being stored or in the process of being transferred on megaupload, filesonic, etc. Nobody seems to be addressing that issue. The internet and storage transfer has far wider applications than just music and movies. This is one giant step backwards. Thank you, Big Brother.

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  18. They will always find a way to make our life difficult, that was in the 80's so and is still the same. They just cannot understand that we exist and swim against them. This our way to express ourselves and we much to dangerous, we're the truth and we are real. The fight continues and we never give up!!!! Cheers!!!

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  19. In the same sense that we're all potential shoplifters and must suffer security cameras, security tags and invasive policies, business will not take the time to examine individual posts.

    All posts will be considered potentially guilty and therefore will be removed.

    You have composed a perfectly reasoned and rational argument--which has no place in the business world.

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  20. It is a shame labels overlook the possibility of coopting with the rightful owners of bootlegged material in getting it a proper public release. The system will always work however to maintain the status quo or at worst gain more for themselves at the expense of the artists they supposedly represent. These are the good ol' boys of the good ol' days who have yet to realize their world is crumbling much faster than anyone is able to put the pieces back together. They should get on board with reality & The Now & get their heads out of the sand & their asses.

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  21. they got me saturday deleted every thing ive upload in the past 4 years went over to rapidshare but i'm sure they will be doing the same as mediafire i guess us blogger's days are numbered mediafire are a bunch of cunts!

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    1. holy hell!
      What on your blog could've caught their attention?
      You're up-loading eighties punk demo cassettes!
      (And doing a fantastic bloody job it, I might add).
      The clock is ticking...

      Delete
    2. In my two years of doing my blog the only thing to ever be taken down was a collection of Social Distortion's out of print b-sides and unreleased material. I think they are a no-go. 90% of what I post isn't commercially available and the other 10% are random compilation appearances. If my account gets shut down I'm fucked.

      Delete

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