Google Gets Its Groove On… But Are They Breaking The Law?
from the sing-a-song-for-google dept
It’s been rumored forever, but Google is finally launching their music offering. As we mentioned many months ago, the plan is not to offer their own music store, but to link to iTunes and others. Remember that phrase: “iTunes and others,” because that seems to be the key. The rumor we mentioned back in the summer was that it was just iTunes, and we wondered how the “others” would feel about that. While it does seem like Google is going to be favoring iTunes, the News.com report quotes Google’s Marissa Mayer (who seems to have a different title in every story I see about her) saying that they’ll be “getting people to the iTunes store”… and then News.com adds in the “and others.” According to another report, the retailer Google sends you to will be determined by a number of different factors, but overall rank and relevance are important — meaning iTunes is likely to come out on top most of the time. Either way, Google doesn’t get a cut of any music sales — but they (of course) do make money on any related ads. Meanwhile, the more interesting part of the story is that Google will also be pointing people to lyrics. Just a week ago, we had a story about music publisher Warner/Chappell shutting down Pearlyrics, a system that did exactly the same thing. Anyone want to take bets on whether or not Warner/Chappell or some other music publisher will now start suing Google? Also, since some in the recording industry are now saying that anyone who publishes lyrics online deserves to go to jail, couldn’t some interpret this new effort as inducement to infringe? Yes, it seems stupid to think of it that way, but it does seem to highlight one of the major problems with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Grokster case.