Blogs laden with free MP3 files may soon be a thing of the past. Reports that hosting company Blogger/Blogspot has been deleting posts containing MP3 files are starting to surface, beginning with this one from Berkeley Place. But Berkeley Place wasn’t a haven for free album rips and leaked copies of upcoming indie-rock opuses. Instead it mostly linked to free MP3 files provided by PR companies and labels, making their deletion somewhat baffling.
A posting by Ekko on the site clarifies the situation: “I’ve been a non-RIAA reviewer for over a year now. That’s why when companies send me CDs by The Annuals, Matisyahu, or Ryan Adams, I won’t review them unless the company hosts the mp3. That used to be a safe approach. Not any more.” Although Blogger haven’t contacted him, Ekko noticed his pages were being deleted when he linked to a live, non-commercially released recording by Chris Cornell. He also links to a couple of other blogs that have experience the same problem. Ekko has been told by one of his other hosts, WordPress, that they had been contacted by the IFPI (the U.K. equivalent of the RIAA) in regard to one of his MP3 postings.
So what’s the solution here? Ekko believes the problem is partly caused by miscommunication between British and American record labels and by robots crawling the net and misidentifying files. Drowned in Sound suggests bandwidth taxes for data transfers, which seems unworkable. Until record labels learn to work with blogs, and realize that these guys are actually helping promote their artists, it seems likely that we’ll hear more stories of this nature in the very near future.