Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hip Hop sites OnSmash, RapGodfathers Websites Seized By Authorities

This is only the beginning. I guess they'll be shutting this music blog down soon too. Here's my thing, if the labels GIVE sites like these the music, they do it for promotional reasons. They give the music to us, we play it on our internet stations, spin it in the clubs and yes, put it on our blogs and on youtube. The hope is that by giving potential consumers sneak peaks and maybe a song or two to download, they'll go ahead and buy the whole album when it's released. I don't see how it's copyright infringement if we're not selling it, or getting money for it in any kind of way. They GIVE it to us so that we may help expose the new music to YOU. We do what we're supposed to do with the music and get shut down for a reason that doesn't make any sense, because we're only doing what was intended for us to do in the first place! I think the reason they're giving is bogus, but aye.....that's just me. Anyway you'll find the story click the 'Read More' link below.

On Friday (November 26), two popular hip-hop blogs, OnSmash and RapGodfathers, were seized by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and Homeland Security Investigations. Both sites appear to be under investigation due to claims of copyright infringement.

In a post dated November 25, RapGodfathers wrote, “Yesterday, Tuesday November 23, agents from the United States DHS/ICE showed up to RGF’s data-center and seized our servers. During the whole existence of the website, we always honored any DMCA requests but apparently in [the] US people are guilty before proven innocent.”

DMCA, short for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, is a federal law passed in 1998 that largely made the distribution of copyrighted materials—read: MP3s—illegal. Remember Napster? The DMCA shut down the original peer-to-peer (P2P) download site.

What’s most disturbing in the case of OnSmash and RapGodfathers is that both sites claim to have complied with any DMCA removal requests. In the case of OnSmash specifically, the labels themselves gave the site the song links which OS provided to the public. Nevertheless, both hip-hop music destinations now find their daily updates grounded to a halt, with the possibility of losing their domain names.

While RapGodfathers had their servers seized, Hof of OnSmash relayed that only their domain name has been taken over.

“Nothing other than our domain has been ‘seized’ and I still have yet to receive any official correspondence as to WHY THIS HAPPENED,” Hof wrote.

Since OnSmash is part of the New Music Cartel (NMC), a coalition of influential hip-hop blogs that include NahRight and YouHeardThatNew, do the feds intend on taking down their servers too?

Courtesy of Alvin Blanco (MTV News)

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