This week, Google stirred up the music world by deleting several popular mp3 blogs, namely Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, I Rock Cleveland, LivingEars, and It’s a Rap. I could provide links to their Blogger accounts, but they have been deleted. All that remains is, “The blog you were looking for was not found.” The blogs in question, according to Google, violated the Terms of Service by supposedly uploading music illegally.

Google’s Blogger Buzz blog issued a statement yesterday afternoon, which you can read in full there, but here are some key points:

When 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.

But what about blogs that post supposedly legal mp3s, such as songs distributed by artists or labels themselves? Google often deletes those entries or blogs, despite bloggers legally sharing those songs. Scott Curtis of LivingEars has experienced this:

Often I take my queues from larger sites like Stereogum, Fader or Pitchfork. If they have it up for download the artist must be good with that, right? Last year I posted a newly released mp3 from The Twilight Sad which was available on both Stereogum and Pitchfork. A week later Blogger had deleted the post.

Anticipating this question from many confused music fans and bloggers, Google attempts to shed light on the situation:

Inevitably, we occasionally receive DMCA complaints even though the blogger does have the legal right to link to the music in question. Whether this is the result of miscommunication by staff at the record label, or confusion over which MP3s are “official,” it happens. If this happens to you, it is imperative that you file a DMCA counter-claim so we know you have the right to the music in question. Otherwise, if we receive multiple DMCA complaints for your blog, this could very well constitute repeat offenses, compelling us to take action.

Google deletes these music blogs, often without any warning, forcing the blogger into a labyrinthine “guilty until proven innocent” situation. In the meantime, these bloggers risk losing months or years of hard work, devotion, and writing. Some of the deletion victims were able to save their information and have since launched their own URLs: LivingEars, It’s a Rap, and Pop Tarts Suck Toasted.

(The Daily Swarm)