July 13, 2016

"On June 27, when writer Dennis Cooper tried to access his blog—hosted by Blogger since 2002—he discovered that Google had deleted his fourteen-year project along with his Gmail account."

Art Forum: Since then, readers have been greeted with a message simply stating, “Sorry, the blog at denniscooper-theweaklings.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.”

'Cooper is not certain whether Google merely disabled the blog or completely erased it. The latter would mean he has lost years of artistic output that included writings, research, and photographs, as well as a platform through which he engaged almost daily with a community of followers and fellow artists. The blog also featured Cooper’s storytelling through GIFs, which inspired his recent GIF novel, Zac’s Haunted House (Kiddiepunk, 2015), reviewed by Paige K. Bradley for bookforum.com, and the 2016 short-story collection Zac’s Control Panel. He told Lauren Cavalli of artforum.com that his latest GIF novel, which is supposed to be published this fall, was stored on the blog. “Of all the things about this that concern and worry me, losing that novel is my greatest fear,” he said.

'Cooper tried reaching out to the technology giant via phone and numerous emails, but has only received a generic statement about a “violation of the terms of service agreement”; he has not been offered any precise explanation. “There seems to be some major stonewalling coming from somewhere, but I don’t know where or why,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

'After consulting a French lawyer who specializes in intellectual property law and who has volunteered to help, Cooper said Google has launched internal investigations, but they have led nowhere. “It seems that the only option I have left is to sue Google,” Cooper said. “This will not be easy for me for the obvious reasons, but I’m not going to just give up ten years of my and others’ work without doing everything possible.”'

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