Google: Major Labels Got In The Way Of Cool Features In Google Music

from the anti-innovation dept

Earlier this morning, we wrote about the expectation that Google would be launching a music locker without first getting licenses from the labels. That's now been confirmed and officially launched (though, still limited to US users by invitation only, but it sounds like that will be expanded rapidly). I'm at the conference where Google announced this, and there's a fair bit of discussion about the legality of the service. At the press briefing afterwards, Google was clear: it was the major labels who responded with "unreasonable and unsustainable terms." They also noted that if they had abided by the terms offered by the labels, they would be offering a service that wasn't compelling. Other reports note that Google really wanted to offer some more innovative features, such as letting users "beam" music to their account by showing they had copies of it, without uploading it. At the press briefing, Google effectively admitted this by saying that it could enable that feature "with proper agreements." Separately, Google made it clear that, although the major labels were the issue, the indie labels and artists they spoke to directly were all excited about the offering. Indeed, the offering itself does appear to be a lot slicker than Amazon's music locker service, which is a bit surprising. I was expecting, in typical Google fashion, that it would appear pretty barebones, but instead it looks fairly advanced.

Separately, in another question concerning how Google would deal with the fact that some people will certainly upload tracks that were obtained through unauthorized means, Google first pointed out that the terms require people to only upload lawfully acquired music... but then also claimed that it would "respond appropriately to rightsholders who believe their rights were violated." That seems like a strange statement. I imagine it means the company will follow through on takedown requests... but how would the rightsholder ever know? If this is a private music locker, then the only person who should have access is the user. I'm kind of wondering if that statement was made just to make a "we're legal!" statement, without recognizing that such a situation doesn't seem to make much sense.

The whole major label situation is yet another example of fear driving the record labels, rather than opportunity and innovation. Again, these music lockers are really just a way to make the consumers' music experience better. It's an opportunity to make the music more valuable and to open up more opportunities for copyright holders to make money, but rather than embracing it, the labels make ridiculous demands to try to clamp down on the usefulness. So, instead, the industry moves forward in spite of their complaints, rather than with the majors.


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    DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    You can't negotiate with crazy people

    They are going to "crazy" themselves right out of a deal -- with everyone.

    They will then wake up and smell the Internet and realize they could have been a big part of it.

     

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      Anonymous Poster, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

      Re: You can't negotiate with crazy people

      The major labels had that chance with the original Napster.

      They balked, and now they're paying the price.

       

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    DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    The labels need to embrace technology

    I know how they will do it!

    Mandatory brain implant chips inserted at birth. Whenever you hear any copyrighted music, your credit card is automatically charged.

     

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      FormerAC (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

      Re: The labels need to embrace technology

      Hear?

      Don't forget that if you heard it in a public place, thats a seperate license. If you were reciting the lyrics to yourself, you are going to need a license for that. What, you were singing too? Well now you owe us performance royalties as well. What, you walked into a coffee house while still singing? Now the coffee house owes us. Since you were singing along, out loud, now everyone in the coffee house owes us.

       

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        MrWilson, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

        Re: Re: The labels need to embrace technology

        Actually the RIAA is quite reasonable. They are perfectly willing to offer convenient blanket licensing under an "existing in a reality that has music in it" license for a small subscription price of your entire paycheck for life, plus the entire incomes of your descendents.

        Souls will also be considered negotiable.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

        Re: Re: The labels need to embrace technology

        Whenever you think of something that's copy protected you must pay.

         

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    Adam G (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Random thoughtS:

    My first thought after hearing google music locker was how will they prove that you own or don't legally own the music?

    How will they regulate someone making a dummy account and sharing it with their friends?

    Would they prevent multiple users not be able to stream simultaneously, even though some couples/married share 1 email, and only purchase their music once.

    lol @ we promise to take down music, as if you could ever know who, statement.

     

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      CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

      Re:

      It really sounds like what Amazon has in its terms of service for its cloud, or maybe a step below. Amazon has the ability to terminate your account if your usage is "substantially" above normal, and the ability to go through your stuff "as [they] determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law." They have to do that to cover their butt from the contributory infringement side, but the question is whether it will actually be used as liberally as it is written.

      Either way, "Big Music" will have to be drug kicking and screaming out of the late 90's(digital downloads) and into the 2010's before they finally acquiesce and allow people to enjoy their product.

       

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    Eric, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Still wondering how great any music locker is?

    Not many cell phone companies have unlimited data plans. Most work places will block the music lockers or at the very least make them against policy (I know I'll be blocking them on our network, we barely have enough bandwidth as it is). I'm just wondering where and how these will be used. I mean I think the idea is great, but the availability of bandwidth seems to be a sticking point.

     

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      Adam G (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

      Re: Still wondering how great any music locker is?

      Eric, Although the bandwidth is a potential concern.
      I know myself and many others often just use youtube to play music we want on our phones or at work.(at least 20 youtube songs a day)(often the same ones, I at least try to keep the window open(multiple tabs) to keep cached. to prevent bandwidth burn)

      A streamed mp3 is far far more efficient then restreaming the same youtube video everyday.

       

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        James (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

        Re: Re: Still wondering how great any music locker is?

        You are assuming he allows youtube. We lock it all down and then monitor the traffic looking for the creativ ways that users will try to get around the restrictions.

         

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          Adam G (profile), May 11th, 2011 @ 4:34am

          Re: Re: Re: Still wondering how great any music locker is?

          Oh I am quite positive he doesn't allow youtube. I wasn't trying to comment that in his particular case he should. I was just speaking more vaguely about the product in comparative to his situation.

          Some places will always have everything locked down, that is fine with me. But in the areas that it's not, then it clearly is a major advantage.

           

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

      Re: Still wondering how great any music locker is?

      The idea for this is for places that can support the bandwidth or for people who have a big enough cap to use their phones. Possibly even for people who have all their music on one PC but want to play it on their media center (and don't have a file server like me).

      The lack of desire for ISPs to upgrade their networks should never be a reason to hold back innovation.

       

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        James (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

        Re: Re: Still wondering how great any music locker is?

        Oh, we have plenty of bandwidth. That is not the issue.

         

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        Eric, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

        Re: Re: Still wondering how great any music locker is?

        "The lack of desire for ISPs to upgrade their networks should never be a reason to hold back innovation."

        I'm not saying hold back innovation, I'm just saying at this point in time.. what is the use of it? And yes, I block YouTube also on my network. I have a iPod, I have a iPhone and if there isn't something of my own music I don't want to listen to I have Pandora.

        I plug my iPhone or iPod into my stereo to listen to it, using Home Sharing to listen to my full library on my iMac. And you would STILL need a computer or device hooked up to your stereo to listen to your music through the cloud.

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Still wondering how great any music locker is?

          I have a device (specifically an android device) that doesn't have enough space to keep all my music on it. Google is offering an option that lets me listen to all my music on the device that I already listen to my music on in a way that I don't mind and I don't have to worry about space. I don't see the problem with this. I've been trying to figure out how to do this on my own server for a while now.

          And as for needing a computer attached; Android tablets and phones, old hardware with limited space, Windows Thin, Google Chrome OS, Google TV, devices designed for this like the Pandora appliance (If only I could find that link again, it was pretty cool).

           

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            The Infamous Joe (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Still wondering how great any music locker is?

            You can set up an ampache server fairly easily, but the ampache apps on android (last I checked) leave much to be desired. Also, you can check out subsonic which beats ampache in both ease of setup *and* user interface. (Plus, on Linux, it can be hacked to stream moves-- but not to the android app, sadly.

            Myself, I don't feel the future is in music (or other media) lockers.. it's in streaming. Although Netflix is flirting with making me cancel it. (I would use it on my laptop (Ubuntu) and my phone (Android) and my TV (Xbox), but they foolishly block the former two) But I digress; The point is: Why would I spend $1000/yr for 1TB of space via one of these services when I can get Movies (netflix) and TV (Hulu) and Music (Grooveshark for me, since I snagged a $20/yr deal-- but there are many others) for a fraction or that, totaling far larger than 1TB?

            Man, that was one big rambling mess, wasn't it? :)

             

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    bob, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Of course it could be cooler

    I really hate waiting in line at the store to pay, but it seems to be what we need to do. The store could be so much cooler if we could just take whatever we want.

    Google has a habit of assuming that it can just do whatever it wants with the content. It makes me wonder how they think they're different from MP3.com. Didn't that company try the same thing and didn't that company get shot to bits?

    Given that the book settlement didn't work out the way they wanted, I wonder what makes them think this will work out.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      Ain't progress grand?

       

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      PRMan, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      They have a huge legal department and they have enough money to buy any label that challenges them. That's the difference between them and MP3.com.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

        Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

        No label would ever allow itself to be bought by the nerds at Google.

        Not to mention anti-trust issues.

        Btw, WMG's business is up; I thought you bozos said all the majors were dying?

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/may/10/warner-music-group-revenues-up

         

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          The eejit (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          No, we said they'd die without adapting. This appears to be WMG adapting in the US market.

          Moreover, WMG is the largest briber of Congresscritters in the Content industry, by an order of magnitude, in order to cry that 'piracy is killing us all!' I think someone might be telling a porkie pie.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

            WMG bribed Congress into making their revenue go up?

            You're about as sharp as a bowling ball, aren't you?

             

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              Jay (profile), May 11th, 2011 @ 5:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

              That's not what he said. He said WMG finally adapted to what customers wanted. Less litigation, more service. Try to keep up, please.

               

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          Hephaestus (profile), May 11th, 2011 @ 6:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          Actually if you had read the article ....

          "As of 31 March, Warner Music held a cash balance of $319m with total debt of $1.95bn and net debt of $1.63bn."

          From what I read in that article. They are hemoraging over $100 million USD a year. It doesn't matter if you have revenue gains if your company is losing money.

           

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      So, since you've (foolishly) taken the stance that Google is doing something wrong here, I'll present you with a question:

      I have to *buy* the music before I can upload it to Google Music. If Google wants to give me free space in the cloud for music (and they do, I can upload anything to Google Docs) and then give me a way to stream it to my devices (as opposed to downloading it and then listening, as I can already do, what have they done wrong? The artists have already been paid. How many times should they get paid before I can listen to my music how I want in your world?

      I look forward to your logical and well-reasoned response.

       

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        DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

        Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

        > I look forward to your logical and well-reasoned response.

        My, optimistic aren't we?

         

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        bob, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

        Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

        I never said they were doing anything wrong. I'm sure that some of the users will be paying customers and that's fine with me. I never had much trouble with MP3.com.

        But Mike is implying that they'll wink, wink and nudge, nudge when people upload any old content. Then they'll scrutinize any DMCA takedown notice and make the content creators jump through endless hoops. Sounds like a good way to make friends.

        I want to like Google. I admire many things that they do. But listening to Mike put a spin on the deal makes me think they're mighty sleezy.

         

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          DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          Where exactly is Mike implying this? I don't see any such spin.

          What I see is him reporting that Google had innovative ideas, and the music industry wouldn't allow it.

          It also sounds like the music industry priced themselves right out of a deal to sell online music.

           

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            bob, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

            Read the second paragraph. It says that Google is only going to "respond appropriately" and then wonders how rightsholders will ever be able to generate enough proof for a DMCA notice.

             

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              DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

              Mike is not hinting at anything and there is no wink, wink.

              He's asking a legitimate question.

              If Joe Pirate uploaded a pirated mp3, how would Google know that it was pirated?

              How would the RIAA know the track had ever been uploaded?

              How would the RIAA know that Joe Pirate had uploaded it?


              But that's not so different from this case: if Joe Pirate put the pirated CD under his mattress in his apartment, how would the RIAA ever know about that?

              Mikes questions apply the same to how would Joe Pirate's landlord respond to such an accusation? Search Joe's apartment without a warrant? How would the RIAA ever know about the CD under the mattress to begin with?

               

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              Anonymously Brave, May 11th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

              The whole point of all of that is to say that Google feels compelled to cover itself from potential "inducement" accusations by clearly stating that users are only allowed to upload content to which they have a license/rights.

              However, what Mike is suggesting is that Google will have no practical way of enforcing said rule without scrutinizing the content that each user uploads, which in turn essentially violates the users' right to privacy, which in turn will get the privacy advocates up-in-arms. Mike is suggesting that Google's statement is toothless and merely a CYA tactic.

              Likewise, since the user is the only one who will presumably have access to the uploaded content, the labels will have no way to determine if any unlicensed content is uploaded, so they have no way to seek legal recourse.

              Of course, it is worth noting that in the US, it is not illegal to posess unlicensed copyrighted material, though it does equate to copyright infringement if you distribute said content without a license. Since Google's cloud service is designed to be accessible to a single user, distribution does not seem to apply.

              You might be able to argue that distribution is technically possible if a user shares login information with others, though it seems rather unlikely that anyone will be willing to open up their account information to the masses the way content is shared via P2P and torrents; therefore the kind of large scale infringement that the industry hates and fears seems impractical via this service--especially when the currently available system of torrents is so much more efficient.

              But, I digress...any reasonable person can see that Mike was simply wondering about how enforcement of such a rule would balance with privacy rights in a service such as this.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          That's because Mike is a sleazy guy. The article comes with the territory.

          Hey Mike Masnick, when are you going to pay MusiCares the $500 you owe them?

           

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        G Thompson (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 9:14pm

        Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

        Ah I see your problem..

        you are assuming that the Recording Industry has actually payed the artist in the first place..

        don't you understand that they need to have at least [pick some arbitrary number between 2 and infinity] sales of the same exact product to the same entity before they can even consider paying the artist.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

      Oh goodie, the property analogy again!

      The store could be so much cooler if we could just take whatever we want


      If the store were a place that held my legally purchased goods for me, I would expect to be able to take them back whenever I want.

       

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        G Thompson (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 9:20pm

        Re: Oh goodie, the property analogy again!

        Actually we have a tort already for a store (or individual) refusing to return any legally owned product of yours.

        Detinue sur trover

         

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      rubberpants, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      So how does "not wanting to wait in line" suddenly become "taking whatever I want?"

      You know what, someone took the idea of not waiting in line and turned it into a really profitable new business. Perhaps you heard of Amazon? Of course, I suppose the brick and mortal stores don't like them very much because they have a hard time competing with them - we should make them illegal. *eyeroll*

       

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        bob, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

        Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

        Bad example. Everyone around here hates the one-click patent. :-)

         

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          DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          Nobody brought up the one-click patent.

          What he was talking about was buying things online, with or without the one click patent. Even without one-click, buying online is vastly faster and more convenient than waiting in line.

          So his example is a good example.

           

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          Rich, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          I probably spend $1000 a month at Amazon.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      Do you even try any more, bob, or do you just pick talking points out of a hat?

       

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      I really hate waiting in line at the store to pay, but it seems to be what we need to do. The store could be so much cooler if we could just take whatever we want.

      Please explain what exactly I'm "taking" when I rip a CD I own and upload those tracks to Google's service where only I have access to them? What am I "taking" when I upload a track I've legally purchased from Amazon's MP3 service?

      Google has a habit of assuming that it can just do whatever it wants with the content.

      Google is doing nothing with the content here. The user, who already has the content is uploading it. Google is just providing a service that is perfectly legal. If you want to claim it is illegal, please cite specific applicable laws and cases.

      It makes me wonder how they think they're different from MP3.com. Didn't that company try the same thing and didn't that company get shot to bits?

      Weren't they the Russian company who was selling MP3s for cheap? Vastly different.

      Given that the book settlement didn't work out the way they wanted, I wonder what makes them think this will work out.

      The book settlement went bad when Google caved in to the ridiculous demands of the publishers. If Google had fought that case, they'd most likely be much better off. Looks like they're learning. Also, again, vastly different case.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

        Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

        Weren't they the Russian company who was selling MP3s for cheap? Vastly different.

        You are confusing mp3.com and allofmp3. MP3.com versus AllOfMP3.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

        Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

        Weren't they the Russian company who was selling MP3s for cheap? Vastly different.

        You are confusing MP3.com and AllOfMP3. Links to Wikipedia on my other comment once the moderators approve it.

         

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          Ah, found it.

          Ok, still different circumstances.

          Looks like MP3.com allowed a user to pop a CD into their drive, a program would determine what CD it was (probably some hash value), then allow streaming from a single copy that MP3.com made themselves.

          Even all that being said, judge made a bad ruling. MP3.com settled before damages were awarded and did not appeal.

           

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            bob, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

            Yeah, judges keep on making these "bad rulings", don't they. The copyright holders usually win when the courts get around to ruling because the law is so clear and the intent of many of these P2P guys is just to get something without paying for it. Then they try to hide in a cloud of sophistry.

             

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              Rich, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

              How is listening to a CD you've already paid for "getting something without paying for it"? The courts have already ruled that time and format shifting are fair use.

               

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              G Thompson (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 9:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

              The original term for 'appelate court' was 'court of error' due to them being specifically available to FIX any errors, which layman call 'bad rulings' that have occured in lower courts.

              The reason they are still around is because yes judges do still make bad rulings.. also in a jurisdiction that prides itself on due process (which it seems the likes of RIAA/MPAA et.al wish was dead) the ability of the accused to question any errors that they think may have occured is a right of every person.

              For you using a sarcastic term to refer to so called 'bad judgements' in this context is by definition a sophism itself

               

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        bob, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

        I'm sorry. I'm not saying you're taking when you're ripping and uploading music, but the article-- which is short on details-- suggests that Google is saying their service would be so much cooler if the labels would dispense with this requirement. So your example is an example of exactly what the labels want to happen, not of what Google would do if they could only be as cool as they could be.

        And someone else has already explained about MP3.com. Why don't you do some research and see how that case worked out since you're asking for a reference to case law. It wasn't pretty.

        And while you're at it, look at the details of the book settlement. It's not over yet, but it only got close to a settlement when Google started working with the publishers. If they didn't cave in, they would be looking at multi-trillion dollars in damages.

         

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          It wasn't pretty.

          They gave up and settled before appealing. Things usually don't end up pretty when you settle with someone who is extorting money from you.

          Also, that case doesn't apply here. MP3.com was streaming from a single file to anyone who uploaded the hash value. Google is simply giving you your own space and allowing you to stream what you put there.

          And while you're at it, look at the details of the book settlement.

          I have been, thanks. Google had a very strong fair use case when the publishers first threw their hissy fit. By trying to work with them, the current agreement turned into a monstrosity chock full of anti-competitive features, and that's why its being rejected.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Of course it could be cooler

          Huh? Who cares how the bits get there. That makes no sense...

          All google is saying they would use their content recognition technology the industry made them make for google to scan the file. If it's already uploaded, it's more efficient to use those bits than to make another copy of the same bits.

          There's no difference of allowing a user access to the same bits they own or making them upload their own copy. It's just pure waste of resources based on people who don't comprehend the underlying tech.

          Maybe we can add that the RIAA hates the environment to their list of perceived evils since they don't allow for efficient data centers :)

           

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      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      Explain what Google is doing that is wrong? They're providing storage so people can store their personal music collection on the web where they can access it at all times. They're not offering music for download, they're not streaming music the account holder doesn't own. It's not up to Google to make sure everyone has legally purchased their mp3's all they are doing is offering a service that makes a whole lot of sense.

       

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      CommonSense (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      Because this is more like Google Docs offering you storage space to save and access your files online, only it's music and not text.

      They're not trying to scan the entire history of music and make every song searchable, like with the book thing.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      Except that a store has tangible books, music is not tangible. And it is your OWN music. Following your example: it would be like a school talking to the publishers because student keep putting copyrighted material in their lockers, it is absurd.

       

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      Nicedoggy, May 10th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

      Re: Of course it could be cooler

      I'm waiting for the police to start going after the millions of students that store CD's they bought in their lockers or dorms.

      It will be wonderful to see those thieves that bought CD's but are storing them in their lockers and not paying for the privilege to be finally confronted.

      I also want to see, music industry workers stopping people in the street at random to search their iPods and cellphones for stolen goods.

      Oh wait, you can't do that, there is that 4th amendment thingy, and I wonder when people will realize that it also applies to the virtual world.

      People wouldn't accept that kind of behavior in real life what makes you think people will comply with absurd laws in the virtual space?

       

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        DannyB (profile), May 11th, 2011 @ 5:57am

        Since when has the 4th amendment or unacceptable behavior, or anything else ever stood in their way?

        These people are crazy. They would turn the entire world into a police state in order to protect their ability to charge monopoly rents. They would have no moral or ethical hesitation about it.

         

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    Anonymous Poster, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    "The more you can do to separate people from their music, the richer you should become."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    such as letting users "beam" music to their account by showing they had copies of it, without uploading it


    Hell yes! I want to get an account full of music just by POSTing forged SHA-1 hashes to an URL. Bitzi will finally be useful!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Idiocy


    I really hate waiting in line at the store to pay, but it seems to be what we need to do. The store could be so much cooler if we could just take whatever
    we want.

    What does that argument has to do with piracy?

    Google is not providing the music to the public but a service letting people store their own presumably bought music.
    Why should the labels be paid twice first by the consumer and then by Google?

    Should manufacturers of hard disks and cloud services also pay the labels for selling a product enabling the storage of copyrighted works?

     

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    Eric, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    One more thing..

    Since you're uploading your own music, you're also uploading it however you encoded it. So for music freaks like myself, that's in a loss less format, meaning huge files. Meaning tons of bandwidth. Even at variable or 190kb a 2 min. song is at least 3mb in size. That means if you listen to music for 6hrs a day at work, that's 540mb in one day.. or 2.7 gig in a single week.

     

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    Pips, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    AC/DC

    You've got bands like AC/DC who don't want their music in any digital form. How does that prevent this? I know it's such a stupid request from a band, but bands ARE Artists. Artists to me have the final say, no matter what the fans want. Much like Lucas will never give us the original non-altered Star Wars films in all their glory on Blu-Ray, he has the final say despite the fans boycotting, protesting, stomping their feet. I respect his decision for as long as he can make it. Once he has passed on and someone else owns the property, fair game on them for releasing them finally.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

      Re: AC/DC

      "Artists to me have the final say, no matter what the fans want."

      In most cases, its the rights holder that has the final say depending on how the contract was worded. That would be the labels and not the artists.

       

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        bob, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

        Re: Re: AC/DC

        Uh, no. The band is the rights holder. If they signed that away, that was their choice and they were paid for it.

         

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          Nicedoggy, May 10th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: AC/DC

          Well if the problem is payment then they should ask for the money first and release the work later, since it is impossible to stop the spread of the work once it is released and it cost money to track down all that crap.

          Put a price on it and release it later, why can't people do that?

          Not to mention the other revenue streams that exist like live gigs and original merch and endorsements.

          How many years of 100$ million dollars one needs to get paid?

          Why is copyright nearing 200 years in length?
          Why is copyright so absurd? If it was applied to real life things it would be ridiculous and nobody would take it serious, what makes that crap valid?

           

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

      Re: AC/DC

      Morally speaking, AC/DC should have say in what they sell. Morally speaking, they should have absolutely no say in what I do with the CD I purchased. If I want to rip it to my hard drive an listen to it on my phone then I will. If I want to put it on someone else's hard drive that's providing me storage to listen to it on my phone, then I will. If I want to take a sledge hammer to it, then I will. I payed money for it, I will use it in the way I see fit.

      Morally speaking, the RIAA wouldn't get payed if I upload songs from an independent band. Yet they want money for it and they do get payed in other mediums.

       

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        G Thompson (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 9:45pm

        Re: Re: AC/DC

        Interestingly in Australia AC/DC do not have a say at all in what is done with their music, as long as it is not publicly broadcast (though there are a few fairly big defenses even their), or used for commercial purposes once it is purchased.

        For music CD's: Format shifting here is quite legal, time shifting is legal, removing region coding by any means is very legal, backing up Cd's for private use is very legal, and removing any copy protection to enable backing up is very legal too.

        I'm guessing Australia will be a bad bad person on the Special 301 report soon ;)

         

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      Ceylon, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

      Re: AC/DC

      Music once purchased either is or is not property. You can't have it both ways. Damien Hirst can't sell his art and then tell me what to do with it. If I purchased his "Lullaby Spring" for $19.1 million dollars there is nothing he can say or do to stop me from putting it in the wood chipper or launching it from a trebuchet. So once I purchase AC/DC's cd I can either do whatever I want with the cd or I am limited because it isn't actually transferable property and if that is the case then I can't steal non-transferable property. It would be like telling the police that they couldn't use forensic evidence against you because they stole your DNA.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

      Re: AC/DC

      Artists to me have the final say, no matter what the fans want.


      And if the bands say "hey, you shouldn't be able to sell your used CDs in second-hand stores", does that mean that such stores are infringing copyright?

      A stupid argument is a stupid argument, regardless of who's using it.

       

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      identicon
      Nicedoggy, May 10th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

      Re: AC/DC

      Well, I disagree, people should get their hands on whatever they can and do it with it whatever they want, is not up to the artist to decide that part, no matter how he feels.

      It was paid already, he should not have any more control over it, just like everything else in life.

      Can you imagine, the builder of your home coming to say to you what you could or could not do with what you bought?

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:09pm


    Amazon has the ability to terminate your account if
    your usage is "substantially" above normal, and the ability to go through your stuff "as [they] determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply
    with applicable law."




    So in other words, you have no right to privacy because the *possibility* of legal liability intensivizes unwarned inspection based not on proof but on purely arbitrary "above normal" usage solely within Amazon's discretion.
    I have 500+ cds both new and used, and would likely trigger that clause.

    How am I going to prove that I own the cds? Credit card and bank statements don't help if the cd was bought from a friend or from (irony alert) Amazon's resellers.

     

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      DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

      The Abnormal use is probably that your music locker is being accessed way more often, from way more locations than is likely, or even physically possible for just you.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:11pm


    Amazon has the ability to terminate your account if
    your usage is "substantially" above normal, and the ability to go through your stuff "as [they] determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply
    with applicable law."




    So in other words, you have no right to privacy because the *possibility* of legal liability intensivizes unwarned inspection based not on proof but on purely arbitrary "above normal" usage solely within Amazon's discretion.
    I have 500+ cds both new and used, and would likely trigger that clause.

    How am I going to prove that I own the cds? Credit card and bank statements don't help if the cd was bought from a friend or from (irony alert) Amazon's resellers.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      Not only that, but terminating an Amazon/Apple/Google account also risks terminating your access to their other services, which may hold "your" data, such as a gmail account, an ebook, or a mobileme account. I would estimate at least 60% of the country has some bit of data that any of these three companies control.

      You don't even have to be guilty to have this impact you dramatically, you can be accused of piracy or someone mistakenly (or maliciously) flagged you, and you are out of a lot of potential data.

      Now extrapolate this to a Google account that is a manager of a Google Apps account, that manages hundreds of people on a medium sized business. What happens when that manager loses his/her account and notorious Google Customer Service is not there?

      Linux --and funnily enough MICROSOFT (client only, not cloud of course)-- start to sound a lot better now, eh?

       

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    CommonSense (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    I think Google knows

    "I'm kind of wondering if that statement was made just to make a "we're legal!" statement, without recognizing that such a situation doesn't seem to make much sense. "

    I think Google understands completely that the situation doesn't make much sense. Unless we're all missing something where they'll have to reveal all the songs in a persons locker at every simple request or something. I'd bet Google made that statement for the idiot lawyers foaming at the mouth looking for a way to take this service down... maybe calm them down a bit because there's a way to police it, and then keep them busy by trying to actually find out how that way to police it works (it wouldn't, but could take a while for Lawyers to figure that out haha).

     

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      DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

      Re: I think Google knows

      The RIAA won't know who is using Google Music. They won't know who has uploaded what. How can they make any requests about anything in someone's private locker?

      Sure they Gym may have the right to search your locker, but in practice they don't. I suppose someone could come in saying that someone stole something and its in one of the lockers, can you please search them all?

      Even if the RIAA knew what person uploaded what track (which they don't) how can the RIAA know it isn't a properly licensed purchased track from, say, Amazon or iTunes?

      If the RIAA cannot know whether a track is properly licensed, then how could Google possibly know?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

        Re: Re: I think Google knows

        RIAA can subpoena at will, and likely will, because they will realize that they have nothing to lose to attack Google through legacy laws and lobbyists that bow down to them.

        Which is really absurd considering the small financial size of the labels.

         

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          DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: I think Google knows

          So what exactly will their subpoena say?

          We believe that one or more users of Google Music has uploaded pirated content?

          Wow, that's specific. That's like going to the landlord of an apartment building and saying:

          We believe that one or more tenants of Foobar Apartments has pirated content on one or more optical disks, hard drives, or portable devices.

          Please give us blanket authority to search the entire apartment complex. After all, someone surely must have at least one pirated song somewhere in that complex.

           

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            CommonSense (profile), May 11th, 2011 @ 11:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I think Google knows

            You heard about the domain seizures by ICE right?? Surely you understand that was done at the request of the MAFIAA's, because they suspected some type of infringement...

            That's how they'd do it, pay the right people enough money. It's not right, but it's happening. We can only hope Google slaps them back down to reality when they try it.

             

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Blanket licensing


    If you are in spain, canada, etc have fees associated with CD's, Hard drives, etc.

    Yes, but the bargain is that downloading and possession of copyrighted works for noncommercial purposes is legal.

    Applying copyright law to noncommercial users simply doesn't make sense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    I say we abolish copy protection laws. These laws are oppressive and they're part of an oppressive system designed to systematically outlaw competition and hinder innovation by ensuring a government imposed monopoly (GIM) on just about everything. These GIMs exist for the very same reason that taxi cab monopolies exist (despite the fact that these monopolies even make us less safe) and for the same reason that all the other very many GIMs exist, to create and advance plutocracy. Abolish them.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

      Re:

      Not to mention these copy protection laws are designed as part of a systematic scam that grants a monopoly on both content and content distribution outside the Internet. The govt grants broadcasting monopolies on public airwaves (and the law puts strict limitations on Wifi that limit its distance), the govt grants monopoly power on cableco infrastructure (which means any content distributed over these mediums must go through a monopoly gateway first), if you try to have independent performers at your restaurant or other venue, you could be faced with expensive lawsuits under the pretext that someone 'might' infringe, and so many places don't have such independent performers.

      The ***A et al need these copy protection laws to continue their efforts to advance their GIM power on Internet distribution as well (and, in many instances, they have done a pretty good job. Some businesses are afraid to use CC licensed content because they may later find out that the content isn't really CC licensed and it was 'mistakenly' uploaded as such). That's another reason why these laws need to be abolished.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Blanket licensing


    but
    bands ARE Artists. Artists to me have the final say, no matter what the fans want.




    But whether I want to store my music in a private cyber locker is simply not their business because I have already paid for the music.



    ACDC could not break down my door and sue me for ripping my music to my hard disk. Why should they have the final say over *how* and *where* I listen to the music which I have already paid for.




    The purpose of copyright is not granting artists a moral right but the promotion of science and art.

     

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      DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

      Re: Blanket licensing

      It seems to me that if you rip a track that AC/DC doesn't ever want to make available in digital format, and can then listen to it on an incredibly small magic touch screen voice operated computer that fits in your pocket and has no moving parts, YOU HAVE promoted the advancement of art and science both.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    I honestly think the earlier post about buying the labels will happen within the next year. It really should have happened on a smaller level at the least with Google or Apple, buying a label each. Buying a [large] label gives them leverage against all other labels.

    Google/Apple/Microsoft collectively buying the labels and splitting the companies off as a single separate entity can work to all their benefits, and cut out negotiations and middlemen at the same time. The artists will be happy because they will get a cut still, the big IT players will be happy because it locks customers into their ecosystems at very minimal costs.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Just a technical question. How does this differ from a Cyberlocker like Rapidshare, Hotfile, etc.?

     

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      DannyB (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      Two ways:
      1. Rapidshare, etc doesn't stream your content down to your headphones.
      2. Your Google Music locker is exclusively yours. It's not designed for sharing. It may not even be possible to share unless you share your login credentials. It would be fairly obvious (to Google) if one locker was being accessed from a large number of locations, and more content was being streamed than one person could listen to.

      I'm a lot more sure of (1) than I am of (2).

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), May 10th, 2011 @ 4:18pm

      Re:

      Just a technical question. How does this differ from a Cyberlocker like Rapidshare, Hotfile, etc.?

      Extremely different. Rapidshare and Hotfile let people store files that anyone can then access. That's it.

      These music lockers -- Google, Amazon, MP3tunes and others like it -- are really providing a personal service. They let you *store* your own music and offer a streaming front end. No one else can access the music, and even you are unable to download your music (I think that's true for all of them... MP3Tunes might let you redownload your own music).

      In other words, Rapidshare and Hotfile are designed to share files.

      Amazon and Google Music are designed to let *you* host *your* own music remotely and then let you and only you listen to it via a streaming interface.

      So they're very different.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2011 @ 4:03pm

    Labels want us to buy our music collections YET AGAIN just to facilitate a change in medium. They are fools to think this will continue to work.

    I won't ever buy the same music twice. I am a paying music industry customer, but I'm no fool.

     

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    identicon
    EyeSeeSound, May 11th, 2011 @ 2:59am

    With this locker Google give me, I don't get which bit of it makes my vinyl spin or upon which bit I put my vinyl.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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