Friday, February 26, 2010
Even worse, what if you have spent many hours finding and adding songs to your favorite music service and one day it is gone? Bankrupt maybe, or forced to close for some reason or another - it happens all the time. Now you have to rebuild your entire music collection. Will that rare, hard to find track be available on another service?
And there's another more ominous issue with having your music in the cloud - it's not YOUR music. When my music is on my hard drive it is mine to do what I want with. Copy it to my iPod, put it on another computer, burn it to a CD - whatever. I know it isn't going anywhere unless my drive gets erased or breaks. But if your music is in a cloud based service, someone else controls it and controls what you can do with it. Maybe one day they decide that songs from a certain artist can no longer be played and they yank them from your collection. Don't like it? Tough luck. Maybe revenues are slipping and the powers that be decide you will now hear a 30 second ad in between every song. Got a problem with that? Too bad - we control your audio collection.
I'll stick with keeping my music collection on a frequently backed up hard drive. No internet? No problem - I still have my music and it's mine. Granted, cloud based services offer a lot in terms of convenience, but I'll gladly put up with the minor hassle of syncing my music to my iPod every now and then in exchange for the comfort of knowing my music is always there when I need it.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sent to you by James via Google Reader:
Search engine Baidu.com is not only China's biggest, but also a major player globally. It recently grabbed headlines when it was hacked by the 'Iranian cyber army', the same outfit that took Twitter offline in December.
Baidu has become increasingly popular with the Chinese population for its MP3 indexing abilities. While its "MP3 Search" provides algorithm-generated links to millions of undoubtedly illicit copyright tracks hosted by others (so-called "deep-linking"), Baidu has always insisted that the provision of such links alone is entirely legal. Needless to say, IFPI, the global music group, disagrees strongly with this assertion.
"The music industry in China wants partnership with the technology companies – but you cannot build partnership on the basis of systemic theft of copyrighted music and that is why we have been forced to take further actions," said John Kennedy, Chairman and Chief Executive of IFPI, in a February 2008 statement.
Bolstered by an earlier ruling against Yahoo China, by further actions Kennedy unsurprisingly meant "legal actions." In early 2008, IFPI (Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music) sued Baidu.com for $9m. Today the result of that case has been made public.
Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court has cleared Baidu on accusations of copyright infringement, with a court statement showing that simply providing search results does not breach Chinese copyright law. According to lawyer Sun Yan, the case against the search giant fell because IFPI failed to identify the actual sites hosting the illegal music downloads.
IFPI has challenged Baidu – and lost – in the Beijing No.1 Intermediate Court before. In September 2005, IFPI filed claims regarding nearly 200 music tracks it claimed were made available via Baidu. In 2006, the Court ruled Baidu was not infringing copyright. IFPI appealed to the Beijing Higher People's Court which upheld the earlier ruling.