Well we found another site that is illegally giving away our music without our permission and with zero compensation to us. I found out when a friend of mine who is rather new to being violated in this way contacted me, asking what she could do about her band's music being on this site, wondering if I knew anything about them. The first thing I did when I got to the site was search for Worldwide Groove Corporation. This is what showed up...
Now, I've gotten used to finding the Chillodesiac material on sites like this, that's been going on for years. I'm still not happy when I find it, but it's not quite as alarming as now seeing some of our very new material being offered for free download, like Mr. Exotica and the remix we did for Built By Titan. OK, well, surely there must be something on this site for reporting copyright violations... let me dig around. [The minutes of my life begin evaporating as I hunt this down, not like I have anything better to do with my time...]
Well, clearly they're fans of keeping things short and to the point... what other pages are there?
Here's the contact page. No links about copyright claims or even a terms of service or help or FAQ page. Clearly these people don't want to be responsible for their actions. As you can see top right, there are literally only 4 options, none of which offer any help.
Realizing that the offending site is a dead end, I go to the whois.net database and see if I can get information on who actually owns this site. This is what I find.
So cloudflare.com is the only lead I have. I go to cloudflare.com and see what they're about. Apparently azsong.net is one of their customers. I eventually find this on their site. [Time keeps on ticking ticking ticking... into the fuuuuture...]
OK, fantastic, here is a place I can submit a complaint. So I do... and wait for a response.
In the mean time, I also click through to see if the files for the mp3s are being hosted on a different site. I find that azsong.net offers three illegal sources for our music.
I try all 3 sources and find that each is a different website which essentially converts the audio from YouTube videos into an mp3, so that is where they are sourcing our music. Here is a screen shot of the 3rd source, video2mp3.
So now I have to weed through THEIR terms of service to see what they have to say about copyright infringement. When is the last time YOU read a TOS?? Don't we all just click "agree" without reading it because reading it actually kills brain cells? I can't prove that, but I'm pretty sure it's true. Anyway, at the peril of losing precious brain cells, I read their TOS. Fortunately I only need to get to item 8 to find what I need. Look at point 2 under number 8.
So, they claim to care about their site being used for illegal purposes, which is good. This qualifies. I send them an email telling them that azsong.net is referring their customers to this site for illegal downloads of our music, and I inquire about whether we can put our videos on an "off limits" status. I have yet to hear back from this company.
Fortunately, cloudflare wrote me back within a couple of hours and gave me the info of the hosting provider for azsong.net and the email address to report abuse.
So, I'm not sure what other action cloudflare is going to take to stop what is happening. I think this IS the action they will take. For good measure, I personally send an abuse notice to the hosting provider. At this point, I'd used about 90 minutes of my precious time for this.
Let's notice that there are six different websites involved at this point. First is the offending site, azsong.net. Then is the 3 different sites which convert the music from the youtube videos to mp3s. Then is the cloudflare site, who has azsong.net as a client. Then is the linode.com site who is the hosting provider for azsong.net. It can get a little confusing as to where in the stages of this transaction the law gets broken, and which site is responsible for that.
This was relatively straightforward this time, back in the 00's, we had to physically print out something on our letterhead with all of the proof that we owned the legal rights and the exact url of the offense, and then FAX it to the company. Each and every time. At least now we can stay digital and not burn through the stationery.
I'm not sure what the results will be yet. I will wait to see if the video2mp3 site responds to my report. I won't have succeeded until all links to my music are removed from azsong.net. But quite honestly, I have a LOT of other more important things to do, so I'm not sure how much more time I'm willing to spend on this.
I know some artists would just LOVE to have the problem of someone else thinking that their music is worth stealing, but I promise you, if you're trying to financially support yourself with music, things like this never feel good. It blows. This is what I have to say to the people stealing our music...
In closing, however, I want to officially say that I fully realize what a tiny problem this is in comparison to so much else that goes on in the world. I have clean water coming out of my faucets, a safe bed to sleep in, a healthy child, a full tummy, and work that I enjoy. I am blessed.