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Bouncing echoes in the wind

September 7th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Should there still be people who think of Google as t-shirt clad rebels against The Man, let them be disabused of their folly. Quite in contrast to the image Google seeks to portray, they are a corporate branch of The Man, not the Internet”s equivalent of cuddly mineral-water drinking Ashbury Haights hippies.

Among Google”s service is Blogger (with the blogspot.com addresses). Those who follow such things will know that Blogger indiscriminately deletes posts in response to (supposed) DMCA notices alleging copyright violation. Google will not tell which part of an offending post breached copyright, and I have come across cases where posts were deleted in supposed accordance with the DMCA, but did not feature copyrighted material. Google has every right to protect themselves from real threats of legal problems, but they seem to be doing more than that. The deletions are indiscriminate.

Presumable there is pressure from the music industry (or perhaps Google has a stake in the industry). If so, it is a shame that record companies fail to distinguish between blogs that upload the latest Madonna album before it is being released, and those that post mostly old and often out-of-print music. A blog of the latter nature was Whiteray”s excellent Echoes In The Wind, which last week was deleted in its entirety, without warning. I cannot see how the music industry is being crippled by a blogger sharing the obscure sixth track of Boz Scaggs” 1969 album. But, of course, Whiteray has no idea what content produced complaints “” if any “” from copyright holder.


Echoes In The Wind: nuked by Blogger

In the last few weeks, I”ve had messages from members of two “˜70s groups, the Persuasions and the Flaming Ember, thanking me for posting their music. Circumstantial proof that some artists do support what blogs like mine and Whiteray”s and many others are doing. We hope to introduce readers to music we are passionate about, or make them aware of a relevance that may create interest. Much of that music is out of print or otherwise rare. We all hope that the interest we hopefully generate will animate some people to buy the albums. All of us are happy to take down music should the copyright holder ask (they needn”t even be polite). Few of us, if any, try to make money out of this blogging thing. There are no ads on this blog, there were none on Echoes In The Wind. We do invest much time and, I hope, talent for the love of the music.

So Echoes In The Wind has been nuked. An archive representing years of work is gone (though Whiteray has saved his drafts in Word documents). But there is some good news. As of tomorrow, Tuesday, Whiteray will be back, not on Blogger but on WordPress. Visit him in great numbers for a housewarming at http://niagaseohce.wordpress.com/

To celebrate, a few songs with appropriate titles. All fine songs. Buy the albums.

Joseph Arthur – Echo Park.mp3
A lovely, haunting ballad from Arthur”s excellent 2004 album Our Shadows Will Remain.

Jimmy Dludlu ““ Echoes From The Past.mp3
Great Afro-jazz track by the South African guitar virtuoso, from the classic 1997 album of the same name.

Tristan Prettyman – Echo2.mp3
Gorgeous track by a gorgeous singer in the folk-tinged pop mould with which Colbie Caillat has had deserved success lately.

Dar Williams – Echoes.mp3
Williams has recorded many albums; this song is from a favourite of those, 2005″s My Better Self.

  1. missparker0106
    September 7th, 2009 at 15:04 | #1

    As one of the many “victims” (I can now actually say blogger/google did me a favor), I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the situation. I got hit on two fronts – Blogger and YouTube, another Google subsidiary. Although I have written permission from Tony Webb, Gary Numan’s father/manager, to produce video montages of Numan’s music, one by one my homemade fan videos were removed from YT. Eagle Records had purchased some of the Numan catalog and their greed apparently trumps the permission of the music’s actual creator.

    I am very grateful to you for suggesting WordPress. My blog receives far more exposure there than when it was on Blogger. I have received many kind words from some of the Canadian bands that I feature because they realize my blogging is free advertising for them – someone actually gets it!


  2. alleyesandears
    September 7th, 2009 at 15:31 | #2

    As you personally know but few others do yet, this was the impetus for my finally making the jump to WordPress too. I can only too easily put myself in his shoes; pulling up the blog to create a post only to find that the hard work of years, the comments of friends and visitors, etc. is completely gone. I feel awful for him. I’m very glad he’s got the drafts saved, at least that’s a mercy.

    I’ve already left a comment at the new site, but I’ll leave one here too. whiteray, I’m very glad you’re coming back and I’ll be there for the housewarming tomorrow!

  3. Magkfingrs
    September 7th, 2009 at 15:44 | #3

    Very nice post… I assumed that was what happened to Echoes… glad to hear he’s coming back.

    Do you know if the same happened to the Cheeze Factory…?

    Keep up the Great tunes. I’m a German teacher, and my students love to hear the old Schlagers (and any other German music too!….some Heino perhaps…?)


  4. September 7th, 2009 at 17:14 | #4

    I draw the line at Heino…

    The Cheeze Factory seems to be gone too. It’s a massacre. The CF really posted only out-of-print and totally obscure stuff. I’m not persuaded that The Man is to blame; perhaps some shit stirrer?

    I’ll try to get hold of the Big Cheeze…

  5. whiteray
    September 7th, 2009 at 22:04 | #5

    Thanks for the kind words and the promo. I’m looking forward to getting back into things tomorrow. The only difference – and this is due to my waffling, not an error on AMD’s part – is that I will retain my original blog name: It will still be Echoes In The Wind. (It’s my brand, as one of our fellow bloggers pointed out to me.)

  6. September 7th, 2009 at 22:20 | #6

    Thanks. I’ll amend text and link accordingly.

  7. September 22nd, 2009 at 00:36 | #7

    I sadly bear the news that Frisian’s Other Favorites, another blog that focused almost entirely on rare and out of print records (yes, RECORDS!), seems to have fallen victim, as well. I wonder if the folks at Google have ever had 3 or 4 or 5 years of their work intentionally ditched in a matter of minutes. I’m not much for rallying cries but I say “continue on”…

  8. September 22nd, 2009 at 12:20 | #8

    Well, fuck Google. The Music of the Moment blog also got deleted. Perhaps it’s time we all contact our favourite bloggers still on blogspot, and urge them to shift over to WordPress as soon as possible…

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