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From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad Hello, there are many ARSCLIST users who know much more about this and its implications than I do. I quote the entirety of a fresh editorial in this closed forum, obviously as an appetizer to promote the service MusicTank that provided it. You may not already know it. Kind regards, George "MusicTank Newsletter #76, Dec 10 [2010 - added by GBN] FAIR PLAY, GOOGLE Google recently announced on its policy blog - to broad praise from commentators - that it intends to be more active on the fight against internet piracy. The search giant plans to both constrict access to music pirate sites and take some steps towards promoting legal ones. Specific measures include responding to copyright infringement complaints within 24 hours through various methods, including streamlined submission requests. Interestingly, this does not apply to their sister company YouTube, until recently one of the most notorious abusers of copyright laws online. Some maintain that the 'safe harbor' provisions, behind which YouTube operate, effectively maintain its status as a serial copyright infringer. The thinking is that these provisions unfairly shift the burden of policing YouTube onto the creative businesses who create the content. These, often small businesses, are expected to allocate resources they don't have to monitoring Google/YouTube full time for infringing content. As this remains an impossibility for many, YouTube holds a de facto licence to continue its infringement. In its defence, Google claims to have spent $30 million on `Content ID´ for YouTube, software designed to automatically red flag content suspected to be in breach of copyright. Google will also be modifying its auto-complete feature to prevent words like `torrent´ from appearing automatically when searching for an artist. This however will not stop these sites appearing in the results when an artist´s name is searched. In a more direct approach, Google aims to cut off much of the revenue for the pirate sites by exercising much stricter control over its AdSense service, an ad-placement service that has drawn much criticism for its indiscriminate ad placements. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, Google wishes to promote the legal alternatives to pirate sites using technology such as music previews clicked on directly from the Google search. Nevertheless, at present Google overwhelmingly directs consumers towards unlicensed sites. Although in fairness to the internet search behemoth, the most popular licensed music services - iTunes, and also in Europe, Spotify - operate in their own proprietary clients and so cannot be linked to via internet search. If more services follow mflow´s example in their recent experimental move towards a browser-based service, this situation may change, if only marginally. With Universal having been stepping up the pressure against Google and YouTube since 2006 and MTV owner Viacom finally suing Google over copyright infringement by YouTube back in 2007, one has to wonder what has brought about Google´s sudden change of heart. Jump forward to the worst kept secret since Ricky Martin´s sexual orientation: Google´s forthcoming music service. Despite the shroud of mystery surrounding the timing of its launch, the service has been alluded to in everything from the Financial Times and the Guardian to Billboard and Music Week, with mixed reviews and hopeful guesses at launch dates within the next couple of months. A cloud-based streaming, download and storage service with social networking features, its main draw is seemingly the ability to preview a track once in its entirety, after which the access is limited to a clip. Interestingly this is a similar service to that offered by Lala.com, which was acquired by Apple exactly a year ago. The competition between these two is clearly burning hot after Apple announced just yesterday that it will be extending track previews on iTunes to 90 seconds. It is truly great news that the world´s second most trusted technology brand (the first being Apple) is launching a music service and tightening its `net´ on piracy. Let´s hope though, amidst the invariable toasts to come, that Google has enough of a world view to try and get beyond the tradition of US-based intransigence towards the independent record sector. Because US big business, brought up on a native independent sector historically tied to major-owned distributors, has never really had much of a taste for treating independents equitably. The last decade has time and time again seen music services attempt to fob off independents often for a fraction of the costs of a track signed to a major. In the last six years alone, MTV, iTunes and Myspace Music have all failed in their attempts to discriminate against independents in their licensing negotiations, MySpace holding out for so long with a service that disowned its indie roots, that the platform all but crippled itself, with rumours now circulating that Murdoch is looking to offload the brand for a fraction of the half-billion-dollar purchase price. While sources suggest that deals have been or are in the final stages of being closed with all the majors (with some experiencing their hardest negotiations ever with a digital retailer) Google´s line to independents appears to be that there´s not even a service to talk about. With a corporate slogan of 'don´t be evil' in danger of becoming a parody of itself, let´s hope this trailblazing company learns the lessons of history and can have the far-sightedness to create a service that is as comprehensive and consumer-minded in music as its search and cloud-based tools have proven to be in business. Editorial by Sam Shemtob +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ Scroll down for: "