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.


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Comments on “Google Gets Its Groove On… But Are They Breaking The Law?”

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10 Comments
lar3ry says:

It seems to be working right now...

I did a Google search for “Elton John,” and the first hit contained a picture of the performer, and the following:

Albums: Greatest Hits, Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and more…
Songs: Border Song, Bennie and the Jets, Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time), and more…
More music results for “elton john” ?

Following the link will take you to places where you can find albums on ITMS and Real Rhapsody, and links to lyrics of songs as well.

Pretty neat, but I probably won’t use it that much.

? lar3ry

lar3ry says:

Re: No Subject Given

“some in the recording industry are now saying that anyone who publishes lyrics online deserves to go to jail”

Actually, this is not new. One of the original lyrics sites, an ftp server in Europe, was taken offline due to threats of legal action by the Harry Fox Agency in the USA.

I’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop for years, actually. The claim was that the lyrics server had links to banner ads, so it was a “commercial site” and was “making money off the distribution of copyrighted lyrics,” despite the fact that it was run as profit-null (money from the ads only paid for wear and tear on the server).

With all those lyrics sites on the web nowadays, it seemed to me that they were just begging for trouble.

Heck, if the music industry heads had their way, they’d sue anybody who even whistled a popular tune!

? lar3ry

Mister Faces says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

I, for one, will stop ripping music and looking for song lyrics when the record companys stop selling alblums that cost them to $0.15 to $1.00 per cd to mass produce at $15 to $30 a pop. The fact that sites like Napster (pre law suit), Kazza, Limewire, and Morpheus came into existance is not just because people could do it but that they felt compelled to do it.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Luke,

If you follow the links, you’ll see it’s not overreacting at all:

The music industry is to extend its copyright war by taking legal action against websites offering unlicensed song scores and lyrics.

The Music Publishers’ Association (MPA), which represents US sheet music companies, will launch its first campaign against such sites in 2006.

MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be jailed.

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