Steaming mode? Do you mean streaming mode? Or stealing mode?
Google is expected to barge into the music industry this afternoon with the launch of its own music locker service, without prior approval from record labels. The search and ads giant is expected to open up on its locker service at its I/O developer conference, the Wall Street Journal said, citing those omniscient people …
Look, I'll make this as simple as possible.
US copyright law allows someone who bought a CD to make a copy for personal use.
Here's how Google can most likely legally introduce a streaming service and still profit from it...
You sign up and upload your music. Assuming that you have a legitimate copy, when you upload a song, google can check to see if the recording exists on their server, and take a hash of the file. If it matches, the retain one copy of the file and then just track the ownership of the file. If they don't match, then they keep multiple versions.
Google makes money by tracking you and your musical tastes. The more they know, the better the targettingof ads and the more they can charge advertisers. At least in theory. At some point there is going to be some diminishing returns... But I digress.
The point is that they could offer such a service and still be legal and not have to worry about the record industry...
In fact, they could use such a service to find out who the 'freetards' are...now that would be a selling point to the record industry...
Currently in UK copyright law, there is no provision for fair use, or for format-shifting. Technically, anyone who rips a legally purchased CD to play on a mobile device is a lawbreaker.
Possibly this is why the Amazon cloud-locker, and from the looks of things, this new Google Music service are not available in the UK.
Incidentally, where is the Hargreaves report on UK copyright law review - I understood they were scheduled to publish by end of April 2011. I'll be very annoyed if it doesn't pave the way for the legalisation of format-shifting, which in turn will allow this kind of service to be offered in the UK.
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