Fighting Copyright issue with Blogger (Blogspot)

In the past three weeks I’ve been deal with infringement copyright issues in Indobackpacker. Two blogs eventually taking contents from mailing list, put on their own blog. One of those even created auto feed posting which once the email system appeared on the mailing list it will also posting on this blog.

Some mailing list said that Moderator and Owner have a right to publish discussion on the forum to open public. In my opinion, they’re only responsible for distribution but not the contents. Since Indobackpacker is fully moderated, it should be known that these are NOT similar kind of censorship. Mainly to reduce amount of dodgy viral email and spam, Moderator are taking action against this type of email. We also try to introduce member become more prone what they’ve been doing, including posting email in groups, which have member around 7,200. If you want to post something that you don’t know where it came from or don’t know is it true or rubbish, don’t do it.

This message becomes clear when it comes to copyright. When I heard about one of the moderator at Forum Pembaca Kompas been interviewed by police regarding the contents, I become more aware that people in Indonesia even don’t really understand how the mailing list works. Including copyright issues and whose has responsibility for distribution outside the mailing list.

The case I brought to Blogspot apparently little bit complicated. The mailing list hosted in Yahoo Groups, while this guy obviously have blog on Blogger, which is now part of Google. I thought it’s going to be a long winding road, especially the case related with Indonesians. But I strongly believe that I got a good case since both provider Google and Yahoo using US Digital Millennium Copyright Act as their based of Term of Services.

Blogspot known for not so responsive regarding contents or infringement copyright. The worst about this is Blogspot become easy to be capitalize since integrated nicely with Google Adsense. Some young lad living in students fees with no money but able to set up blog, and then He/She will fill the contents with anything he/she can find. Including copy paste from others blogs, or just copied from mailing list for the sake of so called traffic. The more you’ve put the contents (God’s know where it came from) the more Google picked as the search engine and the more you get traffic and dollars. I called this as one of Google paradox. They are turned to be blind.

One case that created anger among Indonesians was when a blog called preaching full of hate toward Indonesians. (It was indicated that’s came from Malaysia because using Melayu). The reactions even severe. Indonesians created a massive viral campaign to flag this account, notify Blogspot and then successfully take it down offline. In Indobackpacker's case I chose not going to do the same way. I want exercise my right and Blogspot’s response due this particular rare complaints. (Most of Indonesia blogger who been copied paste preferred keep silent or grudgingly blamed the provider).

On the 16 September 2008, I wrote complaint to Google Legal Support, Blogger DMCA Complaints with mail. Google want paper mail or fax rather than email possibly because they’ve need original signature. But before I took that action, I tried to contact the blog by leaving comments three times, giving 3x24 hours rest and extra two days to think again. During that period she/he stop the feeding from mailing list but keep the posting (emails) as long as 2008 calendar. In total about 4200 posting.

On 26 September 2008, Google received my complaint, logged it and said will looking on the case closely. Four days later, they sent email said that those account been taking down. I don’t know if Google removed the blog or also terminate the account completely since she/he got several other with typical copied paste contents.

Learning this, I confident that if your writing or photos been copied paste without consent, you got right to complaint. This is a good precedent that even the platform different (Yahoo to Blogspot), it did not make those culprit get away easily. Even if you act as individual you still have a change to exercise your right.

May be I am not taking the Wisdom of Crowds, but yes this is works.