Google's Blogger unit last week shut down six music blogs that had received multiple complaints of copyright infringement. What happened next showed just what a mess the whole process is: some of the bloggers appear to be innocent, having spent plenty of time clearing the tracks they used with record labels first. Another never received past takedown notices and was shocked to find his blog suddenly removed. And those who didn't care about copyright infringement in the first place have just moved to new domains.
According to Blogger's terms of service, Google maintains the right to cancel blogs that violate its policies, including those on copyright. It does so after multiple uncontested DMCA takedowns arrive. (Those takedown letters are all archived at chillingeffects.org; each one is a list of hundreds of allegedly offending URLs.)
But the process for handling these claims has problems: the claims themselves can be wrong, they don't always get forwarded, and even when they do, individual bloggers often fail to file a counter-notice.