Warner believes you can search but you can't hide

I was saddened to read on Techdirt today that Warner Music is suing Seeqpod, an increasingly popular search engine for music. Seeqpod don't host any music but do make it remarkably easy to consume music hosted legally or otherwise elsewhere.

In many respects, were Warner to be successful they would clearly have a case against all search engines, unless the case rested on the playing facilities provided by Seeqpod. USA Search engines have been able to rely upon safe harbour provisions to protect them in the past. However, as with any threatened legal action, the anticipated legal costs can force most small firms to capitulate.

Last year, I had the opportunity to briefly get to know some of the Seeqpod team including one of the founders, Kasian Franks. An impressive group of folks, it will be a great shame for them to be bullied out of existence.

UPDATE : Was just skyping with Kasian, who suggested that the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), whose members include many of the big names in the computer industry including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo with their big search operations, may support Seeqpod with its defence. He confirmed to me that Warner's focus is more specific than search - it's that Seeqpod offer playable search i.e. Seeqpod made it easy to consume the found items. I think that is the real issue. Why bother going to last.fm even with its new offering when you can go to Seeqpod and listen on an unfettered basis.

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posted by John Wilson @ 4:28 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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