17. December 2005 · Comments Off on Lawyers, Google And Music · Categories: General, Technology

This from James Niccolai of IDG News Service, via PC World:

Google has revamped its Web search engine to make it easier for users to find music-related content such as lyrics and track listings. The action pushes the search site into an area that has been raising eyebrows among record labels.


The lyrics feature could potentially land Google in hot water with the record labels, which have been turning their attention to Web sites that offer unlicensed music scores and lyrics. Lauren Keiser, president of the Music Publisher’s Association told the BBC earlier this week that his group plans to launch its first campaign against such sites early next year. Some labels have already begun.

Record label Warner/Chappel Music sent a cease and desist letter recently to pearLyrics, a service that lets users track down lyrics for songs currently playing in their iTunes software. The developer of the service, Walter Ritter, shut down the site December 6 rather than face an expensive court battle. “As a freeware developer I can not afford to risk a law suit against such a big company,” he wrote on his Web site.

There was no indication Thursday that the music industry has Google in its sights, and the MPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google’s service is perhaps less controversial than that of pearLyrics, which also loaded the lyrics it found into the lyrics field of the iTunes software.

Well, picking off small-fry may be one thing, but going after cash-rich Google is a whole ‘nother matter. But, either way, they are biting the hand that feeds.

In other Googlie-news, you might note the new Firefox feature, on the same article, and the AOL buy-in. It seems to me as though Google is looking to become a more broad-based portal/content provider, similar to Yahoo!.

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