The recording industry has long been critical of Google’s handling of its search results, and several months ago, the RIAA and IFPI accused Google of profiting from piracy, and throwing up roadblocks to prevent copyright holders from removing infringing material. According to a leaked document, this war of words might be headed to court soon. Industry groups have obtained confidential legal opinions on the viability of a lawsuit against Google.
Ever since the interesting, yet disturbing site YouHaveDownloaded went live, the Internet has reveled in hunting down the IP addresses of copyright cops who have been illegally downloading content via torrents. One group found to have some internal pirates is the RIAA, which records show has 6 IP addresses downloading infringing content. Now the RIAA has responded with a defense similar to some alleged file-sharers: it wasn’t us.
You may be thinking that Google Music launched months ago, but you’d be wrong. This whole time it’s been another of Google’s famous betas. Well, now it seems a sure thing that the search giant is about to launch the service for real, and music purchases could be part of the deal. An event called “These Go To Eleven” is slated for November 16th.
Google’s Android lead, Andy Rubin said at AsiaD recently that Google was very close to rolling out music purchases, but he added there would be a “twist.” What could that be? Well, Business Insider claims to have the skinny, and it’s actually rather useful. According to a source, Google’s music service will let user share a purchased song with a friend for some indeterminate period of time.
Remember Joel Tenebaum? He's a 28-year-old graduate student at Boston University pursuing a physics PhD. He's also enjoying a little more than 15 minutes of fame for fighting the RIAA in a copyright case in which Mr. Tenebaum was originally ordered to pay $675,00, a amount that was later reduced to $67,500 before a federal appeals court on Friday reinstated the original verdict.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) isn't finished making an example of Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the 34-year-old Native American mother of four from Minnesota who was found guilty in 2007 of illegally sharing 24 songs via peer-to-peer. Attorneys representing the RIAA have filed an appeal against last month's decision by Judge Michael Davis to knock the fines down to $54,000.
Music streaming service Spotify launched in the US just a few weeks ago, and a source has let it slip that the company already has 1.4 million US users. Also of great importance, Spotify has apparently snared 175,000 users for paid accounts. Not bad for a service that is still invite only.
Industry trade groups like the RIAA and the MPAA have been beating on Congressional doors for years now in a fruitless attempt to restrict Internet access for rampant file-sharers. Thanks to a tangled web of possible political and legal ramifications, the government's been hesitant to drop the banhammer on everyday pirates. Sick of the foot-dragging, the content associations just went Dirty Harry. No, they didn't take the law into their own hands – they bypassed it completely by forging a deal with the largest ISPs, who will now take a "graduated response" against file-sharers at the copyright owners' command.
While so-called “three strikes laws” have been passed in several countries to kick those repeatedly accused of copyright infringement off the Internet, Cnet is reporting that some US ISPs are not waiting for the government to impose such a system. Several companies including Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon are reportedly deep in talks with entertainment companies to establish tough punishments for alleged file sharers.
If you've been waiting with bated breath for Google to launch their iTunes competitor, take a breath. No, it's not happening, we just don't want you to pass out during the wait. A report from All Things D indicates that Google's talks with the recording industry have broken down. The situation is so bad apparently, that Google is reconsidering their entire approach to Google Music.