When Is Copyright Infringement Not Copyright Infringement?

When it’s marketing and promotion, of course. Music Blogs Caught Up in Labels’ Online Piracy Fight [pdf]

“At first I thought it was hackers,” Mr. Hofman said. But within hours a notice went up on the site saying that its domain name had been seized by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit of the Department of Homeland Security; it was one of dozens of sites shut down, accused of copyright infringement and selling counterfeit goods.

But Mr. Hofman, a brawny Long Islander in his early 30s who formerly worked for a major record label, does not think of himself as a pirate.

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.

Nice to see that DHS is doing it’s best to keep America safe from terrists!