Backlash Towards Gracenote

from the charging-for-the-works-of-others dept

A good article summarizing why people are pissed off at Gracenote, who runs the CDDB database of albums and track titles. The main problem is (of course) CDDB has been built up over the years by volunteers who enter in the data. Now Gracenote is charging people licenses for it, patenting stuff around it, and even sueing Roxio for switching to a competitor. As one person who added to the CDDB database asks, “how [can] I get my share of the licensing fee for the data I uploaded?” I also like Gracenote’s response, which is simply: “We have to make a living.” This is not true – making a living is not a right of every company. They don’t have to make a living. Plenty of companies fail every day because they don’t make a living. You make a living by having a good business with a strong business model. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stomp all over the people who built your database for you – and then use legal threats to try to destroy legitimate competition. That’s not making a living; it’s desperation.

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