Kevin Hofman of hip-hop site OnSmash.com is bumming.
According to The New York Times, OnSmash.com was one of 82 sites seized by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit, due to accusations of copyright infringement and selling counterfeit goods.
Problem is, Hofman isn’t a pirate. He’s a promoter.
OnSmash.com and the handful of other music blogs shut down by the government post brand-new songs and videos without licenses, but much of that material is often leaked to them by managers, music labels and even the artists themselves.
As a result, these sites have a complex symbiosis with the music business. While the Recording Industry Association of America wants to shut them down, the rank and file of the record labels — particularly in hip-hop circles — uses them as marketing tools and publicity outlets.
Sadly, I know how Hofman feels. I had my YouTube account stripped from me for these very same copyright violations. And like Hofman I was supplied the content in question by brands, production houses and ad agencies seeking publicity for their work.
One would think a person like Hofman or myself could explain ourselves to the authorities, but no, there’s no room for that in the draconian copyright violation circus. You lose your site or lose your YouTube account and that’s it. There’s no getting it back.
I know The Google (YouTube’s parent company) could care less about my problem. Be that as it may, I’m a grudge holder. In fact, I’ve been holding grudges against Exxon, Best Buy, Hampton Inn and others for decades. Long stories, all. The short version is quite simple though–when a company screws up (and they will), they can either fix the mess quickly and painlessly, or be forever marginalized and/or boycotted.
Previously on AdPulp: Modern Digital Life Can Be #SoIrritating