Earlier today I sent the following post to Songbirds, a Yahoo list of which I've been a member almost since the era of the steam-driven pc.
"There have been several Songbirds posts recently that direct readers to Blogspot music download sites. (There are such music sites on other blog services as well.)
These free, hydra-headed download sites are being closed down -- and rightly so-- by Blogspot at a fairly vertiginous rate. But, in my opinion, still not fast enough! One that was recently shut down had a fair number of recordings that myself, Pinky Winters, Denise Donatelli, Carol Sloane and others (known by most members of this list) SHOULD be receiving royalties from, or as my grandmother woulda said, they're "taking the bread from our mouths." (And yes, the record label that I'm associated with DOES pay royalties. Will wonders never cease?)
The sites usually contain a proviso in their mission statements to the effect that the recordings in question are out-of-print, but that is just so much legal shucking and jiving. (Oh, you mean it ISN'T out-of-print? I FORGOT!) This is usually followed by a phrase, something to the effect that if the rightful owner of the copyright contacts the site and confirms that the recording in question is in print, then it will be removed from the site. But that is usually a flatout lie. Recently I tried unsuccessfully to get several BRAND NEW releases that I am associated with removed from one of these music download blogs -- but to no avail. Jeez! I have enough on my plate already without having to deal with such nonsense.
Frankly, I don't expect that most who read this post will have much sympathy with my dilemma. I suppose it's just too much of a temptation to save $15.00 or whatever with a couple of keystrokes of one's pc... and too much of a temptation to the latent anarchist that lurks within most of us. But for every day that these sites are allowed to continue to proliferate, that's just one more nail driven into the coffin of the music we all love, and hope would prosper and prevail. Plus -- small matter -- they're illegal and immoral!
In addition, these sites are as responsible as anything or anybody for the death of that once venerable institution... the record store. A cultural calamity of incalculable proportions.
I have a blog, and occasionally upload a truly long out-of-print or public domain track, but NOTHING LIKE THIS. I would humbly suggest to OFL that he go so far as to -- if you will -- CENSOR these posts. They really are a classic case of the questionable first amendment right to shout "fire" in a crowded theater.
If Songbirds readers want to seek this stuff out, let them undertake the net search themselves."