Almost every track posted to sites like these are released by the artists themselves (or by their labels). Many hip-hop blogs (including the two I linked) will not post songs if they weren't legitimately authorized by the artists (e.g. if a track was stolen and leaked on the web).
Something you won't ever see are full albums. These sites aren't designed to replace album sales, they actually encourage them. They will only link to individual songs or freely released mixtapes.
(Also, you'll note that a lot of the music posted is from unsigned artists. A lot of newer rappers actually rose to prominence after having their music posted on these sites.)
There are many, many sites that willingly infringe on copyright and the government has good reason for shutting down. This was not one of them.
PS. For more information on how music gets released to these blogs, read this excellent piece, also by Techdirt:
Or maybe, the notion of copyright police is stupid. Have we caught all the bad-guys and evil-doers in this world, and all that's left is COPYRIGHT abuse? I mean, what about all those terrorists who hate us for our freedom. Yet, we have enough resources left over to shut down some poor dudes blog? I feel safer all-ready!
Getting rid of the freedoms, I mean. Then the terrorist will not have a reason to hate you anymore.
Sorry for the sarcasm.
Congress just got done bankrupting this country 800 times over, you think they are worried about some pennies lost by some company due to copyright? It's about power.
- Personal morals (i.e. voting against gay marriage or evolution because their religion dictates it)
- Pandering to corporate interests for campaign money (or votes in the case of strong unions)
- Supporting their constituents (or at least appearing to). This can take the form of pandering to corporate interests so that said corporations open up their new offices within said Congresspersons constituency (i.e. bringing new jobs into the area!). It can also take the form of voting on crap laws to look 'tough on crime' or 'tough on child porn' or whatever.
I doubt very much that many of the people in Congress see it as a 'power grab' even if that is essentially what it is.
How doing all this is legal is still beyond me. I hope someone SOMEWHERE is planning to sue the living crap out of these asshats.
How would an outside copyright enforcer know that? In a world where companies send takedowns to YouTube over videos that they uploaded, it seems like it's not enough to be legal — sites need a way to prove that they're posing authorized content.
Well, for one, there is no such thing as "an outside copyright enforcer." The only people allowed to complain at all about a song's presence on a website are the people who own the copyright. That's it.
Do they really? IIRC, every case of outsourced "enforcement" has resulted in failure. What successes should I be remembering?
Those familiar with Nick Davies' Flat Earth News will know that copyright is a prime candidate for a flat earth story. The lobbyist angle is so pervasive that it has, to the media at large, become a fundamental truth.
"It's so hard for us to enforce our copyrights, so just give us the ability to point the finger at anyone, and have them (and their business) forcibly thrown off the Internet until they prove their innocence."
That's way too much power.
For example, in NJ, if you're found in possession of a firearm, you are assumed to be in violation of this state's gun control laws unless you can prove that you acquired the gun in accordance with State laws.