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Baidu Cleared of MP3 Copyright Infringement  (View post)

Tim [PersonRank 0]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
12 years ago4,612 views

So if this is true, why has Google constantly refused to build an mp3 vertical? Why is there a Google image search vertical, but not a Google mp3 search vertical? Sure, you can hack away, and come up with enough custom parameters to eventually find mp3s. But why is there no officially supported Google vertical? After all, if indexing mp3s is just like indexing web pages or images, why has Google refused to do it?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

"why has Google refused to do it?"

because 3/4th of the mp3 are copyright editions and those are being culled as SERP and delivered for consumption. This means aiding and abetting infringments of copyrights.. Google would not want to getinvovled with that type of scenario in the open US/EU courts..

yes, lets not forget " Beijing court has cleared the Chinese search engine ".

Lets say Baidu delivered SERP in US/CA and EU's, then lets see if it gets cleared..with nada liablity in these courts..

big deal, different jursidiction,big money at play.. go figure :)-

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Google could apply the YouTube approach to MP3s. Don't just link to MP3s – allow users to upload them to Google's own storage.

Just as with YouTube, Google would take down copyrighted music on request. Google would surely face exactly the same issues as they face with YouTube – and would create an insanely popular service!

ShellehS [PersonRank 5]

12 years ago #

anyhow, we can download MP3 freely,no fee. that's the point, that's what i want.that's good to me, but bad to music companies.

sometime, i just think of, copyright really good to web? or just obstruct its development?

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Roger: I think the main difference between Video and MP3 is that there's always been a market for home-videos (just think how popular xxxx's Funniest Home Videos is in every country!), which people are happy to distribute for nothing and other people love to watch. Same is true for photos.

Not so music. I think it's fair to say that compared to video, culturally there's not been a large pool of music that people are happy to give away for free (that people want to hear) outside the performance / radio framework. The only exception is remixes and that has its own copyright issues.

   I think if there was a YouTube for MP3s you'd have a hard time finding *anything* that wasn't a copyright violation – at least that's what's happened every time it's been tried so far :)

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Reto, you're probably right. Still, there's nothing to stop people uploading music to YouTube with an arbitrary image, thereby effectively using YouTube as a music distribution service.

Oh hang on, that's what lots of people are doing already...

Tim [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

But /pd, there has already been a precedent set for copyrighted images, in the Kelly vs. Arriba Soft case. In that case, a search engine was allowed to link to (and even create thumbnails of!) copyrighted images. And those copyrighted images had real market value. So it is not like we are talking about something that people are just happy to share online, for free.. like with video.

So again, if Google does image search, which images do have market value, why won't they do music? The precedent has not only been set in China, it has been set here in the U.S., too.

Tim [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Furthermore, Google seems to have no problem in scanning copyrighted books... lots and lots of current, on-the-market books. All these books have a real market value. And Google argues that because it is only showing snippets, and linking, it is ok. I actually made this <b>exact</b> same argument to Google in 2001, trying to get them interested in doing music search. And they said "No way.. we don't want to break copyright".

So why is thumbnailing and linking to copyrighted images ok, and snippeting and linking to copyrighted books ok, but summarizing and linking to mp3s not ok? It seems a bit hypocritical to me..

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

<<I think if there was a YouTube for MP3s you'd have a hard time finding *anything* that wasn't a copyright violation – at least that's what's happened every time it's been tried so far :)>>

Not sure about that. There are many podcasts, radio shows (odeo.com/). There's also independent music.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

<<there's not been a large pool of music that people are happy to give away for free (that people want to hear) outside the performance / radio framework>>

odeo.com/audio/1748478/view

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

But Tim, they cant afford to Upset the apple cart with the DRM group and music industry pundits :) -

Afterall, they still have to luanch their s/w service (Gmusic ?) and that needs to be done with the well wishes (blessings ?), of the music industry :)-

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Thanks Ionut, Odeo.com really is YouTube for audio!

Tim [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

/pd, you are kidding, right? Given their recent purchase of YouTube, and all the accompanying deals they had otherwise been hoping to cut with content producers for the Google Video store.. you have to be joking about them worrying about upsetting the apple cart..

Ah yes, you use tons of smileys :-)

But seriously.. you said above that Google creating an mp3 vertical would "means aiding and abetting infringments of copyrights.." As I said to Google 5+ years ago, being able to find new music would help consumers buy new music. It is exactly the same argument they have been using to push their Book Search. Google clearly does not think that all their video, book, image, etc. offerings constitute an aiding and abetting of copyright infringement. And yet they do think this is true, for music! I just don't understand it.

And frankly, it weakens their other arguments. I can't take what they say about Book Search seriously, when they are clearly afraid to do the exact same thing with music search. They can't be afraid to upset the apple cart for music, when their purchase of YouTube clearly indicates that they're risking upsetting the apple cart for video.

elyk [PersonRank 6]

12 years ago #

I think that the difference is that with book search their results pages are carefully crafted to remain within the limits of fair use. A music search of the web would oftentimes link directly to a full-length copyrighted music file, definitely not justifiable by fair use. Now what I'd like to see them offer is a service where you can search for music then hear brief samples of the music files, unless the artist has authorized them to stream the entire song. Kind of like what they do with pay-for videos. That would be the closest to a music version of book search.

Ivan [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

A big difference is the likely fact that the RIAA are so litigious, which isn't true of most other groups or governing bodies. The RIAA seems only to exist to file lawsuits, so Google would probably want to try hard not to completely piss them off.

Tim [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

elyk: I see the distinction you are getting at. I think what you are saying is that with book search, since all the material is hosted at Google, and the searcher never leaves the Google property, Google is able to control the amount of the book that gets displayed to the user, end-to-end. Google is able to ensure that never more than a few sentences or whatever is displayed.

Therefore you conclude that this is what it takes to be fair use, and that music would not be this way, because "a music search of the web would oftentimes link directly to a full-length copyrighted music file".

Well, I agree with your facts, but not your conclusion.

See, with Google Image search, you have a similar sitution. When you do an image search on Google, Google displayes a small thumbnail of your result on their own property. But then Google links to the original, off-site. Thus, "a[n image] search of the web [will] oftentimes link directly to a full-size copyrighted [image] file."

And yet, Google Image Search is somehow "carefully crafted to remain within the limits of fair use", too.

Frankly, I did propose the music search idea to Google both ways. I proposed it as a walled garden like Book Search (via partnering with music companies), and I also proposed it as a neutral, ubiquitous crawl the web, "linking is not the same as hosting" Image Search. (I believe the latter neutrality/ubiquity is what the courts used to conclude that Arriba Soft's image search, thumbnailing, and linking was 100% fair use, in the Kelly vs Arriba Soft case.) I proposed the latter 5 years ago, and the former 4 years ago. But both times, both ways, Google refused, because they said they were concerned about violating copyright.

So I frankly still find it quite mysterious that they somehow think Image Search does not violate copyright, even though it links directly to full-size copyrighted image files. And I find it quite mysterious that they think Book Search does not violate copyright, even though they refused to do something similar for music (at least that is what they told me) for the same copyright reason.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Tim: what happens if they (google) begins "dishing" out for a "fee" the MP3's based on SERP ??

Tim [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

/pd, I don't quite follow what you are saying. Are you asking, what happens if Google begins selling music, ala iTunes, and bases its prices for each song on supply-and-demand, calculated via some popularity-based SERP?

Or are you asking what happens if Google begins trying to make money off of the mp3s that they have linked to, on the web?

In the former case, that's fine. Let Google make the partnerships with the music companies to sell their music, and let Google come up with whatever pricing and ranking structure it wants to. If people like the rankings and the prices, people will use it. If not, then they won't. Welcome to the wonders of a free market.

In the latter case, that is not fine; you cannot of course sell something that does not belong to you. But note that I never suggested that Google do this. In fact, in the analogous case of Google Image Search, the very reason that is legal is because Google does -not- "dish" out for a "fee" the JPG's based on SERP, as you say. If they were to start dishing JPG for a fee, Google Image Search would be just as illegal.

But tell me.. what exactly is your question?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Tim : point#1 :)- yes ala iTunes... I belive your fine with that concept.

Remember music trends ?? Googs can data mine user behaviour and this permits googs to leverage strategic partnership with those music companies..!!

Tim [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I remember music trends. It was a total ripoff of Last.fm. Well, it wasn't a total ripoff.. it actually had less features than Last.fm. So it was a subset ripoff – Google wasn't even able to duplicate the full Last.fm feature set :-)

And yes, of course I am fine with point #1. As I mentioned briefly above, I spoke one-on-one with a high-level Googler, in his office at Google, back in 2002, and suggested this very idea to him. He still said that Google would not do it, because it was concerned about copyright violations.

Fine, whatever. It was 2002, and maybe they were still worried about Napster-like ramifications.. even though I explicitly said that by securing rights you could do music search without being like Napster.

But in 2004, I approached another high-level Googler, at a conference, and suggested it to him, again. Music search via partnerships. He also said, again, "Nope, won't do it, because of copyright issues".

So tell me.. what is it about the Google way of understanding the world that they have no problem going into libraries and scanning hundreds of thousands of copyrighted books that do not belong to them, but they will not partner with music companies because they can't figure out the copyright issues?

Fine, let Google use their music trends data to try and leverage into some sort of stragetic partnership. They should have done that half a decade ago, when they had the chance. Now, Last.fm has beat them to the punch. Shazam has beat them to the punch. Pandora has beat them to the punch (and Pandora recently partnered with MSN!)

While Google was busy developing Google Talk, there were all these other companies actually working on a real, new, innovative search product: music search.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Google also does not permit AdSense to be displayed on web pages that link to MP3s (at least that's what I think they mean by "web pages with MP3 results"):

AdSense program policies
www.google.com/adsense/support ...

They really seem to be obsessively sensitive about music files (although Google displays plenty of Sponsored links if you search for [mp3]).

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

"In order to avoid associations with copyright claims, website publishers may not display Google ads on web pages with MP3, Video, News, Groups, and Image Results."

I don't understand this statement.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I suppose the statement is from the early days of AdSense when Google was taking the moral high ground. They didn't want it to be perceived that AdSense users were making money from other people's copyrighted MP3s, images, etc.

Nowadays, Google seems to have a "Do as we say, not as we do" policy, and we see Google running Ads on Google Groups, YouTube etc.

Google's policy is not fair to people who are hosting legal MP3s (e.g. Creative-Commons licensed, or a band's own MP3s).

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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