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Saturday, November 19, 2011

RIAA vs Google

After the lively discussion on Google’s piracy liabilities, today the company has to deal again with piracy and confront the almighty Recording Industry Association of America, too. This is about Google’s MP3 Music Download Pro app. 
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This application was designed by the company especially for Android and allows users to download music onto their smartphones. At the moment, the application is rated as the 5th most popular one on the entire Android Market. Of course, the anti-piracy outfit couldn’t like that. It has already sent a takedown notice to Google this past summer regarding this particular application, because it was clearly used for unauthorized purposes. In respond, Google claimed that it refused to remove the app from the Android Market. Still, the RIAA has some concerns with the company’s screening and takedown procedures. Entertainment industry still hopes that they’ll be improved.

In addition, Google is going to fulfill its promise to launch a new music store, and it has already invited media representatives to the big launch. Online reports reveal that the company has managed to close deals with 4 largest record labels, and if it is really so, Apple’s iTunes may get a rival. Nevertheless, the reports don’t mention what strategy Google has developed to lure users to purchase licensed music from their store.

According to some media reports, Google refused to take down the application because it believes that the app can also be used for legitimate purposes – for example, recently the screenshots were posted, showing how the app could be used to search for classical music. For some reason, they soon magically disappeared.

A couple months ago, Google claimed it has made significant progress on piracy liabilities by deleting illegal content from both its Autocomplete function and search results. Moreover, the company has already taken down a number of mobile applications facilitating copyright violation. The problem is that the takedown times are usually long, and the industry often sees the same or similar applications from the same developers re-appearing fast enough. In addition, the company is also accused of failing to screen and evaluate applications before uploading them.

At the moment, RIAA’s representative refused to comment whether the entertainment industry will launch a lawsuit against Google.

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