A group of music publishers that joined a class action lawsuit filed against YouTube in 2007 have reached a settlement with Google's video-sharing site.
The National Music Publishers Association as well as individual music-publishing companies, such as Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, the Harry Fox Agency, and Murbo Music Publishing, joined a class action lawsuit filed against Google by The Football Association Premier League among others.
The suit--which accused YouTube of encouraging users to upload pirated video clips of TV shows, films, and music videos--was filed shortly after Viacom filed a copyright complaint against YouTube and Google. For efficiency, Viacom and the class action were reviewed by the court simultaneously even though they were separate complaints.
"As a result of this resolution," the publishers wrote in a statement, "music publishers will have the opportunity to enter into a license agreement with YouTube and receive royalties from YouTube for musical works in videos posted on the site."
Thanks to the agreement, music publishers can license Google the right to sync their music with videos posted by YouTube users and YouTube will pay the royalties. The parties involved didn't disclose the complete terms of the agreement.
That's nice but what's important here is that YouTube executives continue to put their copyright troubles behind them. The Web's top video-sharing service was once packed with pirated content but the service built a filter system and now most of the top film studios and TV networks consider the site to be swept clean. … Read more
An administrative law judge denied Google's request to bar one of Microsoft's expert witnesses from testifying in the software giant's patent dispute litigation against Motorola.
Microsoft has accused Motorola of infringing on its patents with its phones that run on Google's Android mobile device operating system. Google alleged in a filing last week, that Microsoft improperly shared Android source code, which is supposed to remain confidential, with an expert witness it hired for the case. Google sought to prevent the expert witness from testifying, based on the alleged breach.
But U.S. International Trade Commission Administrative … Read more
Continuing its march into social networking, Google launched its Photovine picture-sharing service on iTunes this morning.
The service, which debuted as an invitation-only application last month, lets users snap photos and share them with friends much the way they'd blurt out tweets on Twitter. With Photovine, though, photographers group pictures thematically, with one person taking a snap of, say, their desk and sharing it under the theme of "cluttered desks." Other Photovine users, then, can add pictures of their work spaces. In the parlance of the new application, that's a vine.
Vines can be mundane, like the "cluttered desk" example, or personal, like "girls night out." Among the most popular vines today are "cutest dog" with the requisite adorable puppy pics, and "Things I Love About Summer" with shots of a cold glass of beer and another of kites flying over a beach, among others.
Anyone can see photos you post, either by browsing the vine in which the photo was included or by browsing your profile. People following you, though, will receive the snaps automatically in their feed. In Photovine, no approval is needed to browse or follow another person.
The service is entirely iPhone-based, with both pictures and vine titles composed on the device. Users can share photos and vines on Facebook and Twitter. Oddly, there is no integration yet with Google's own social-networking service, Google+. And Photovine only exists on iTunes now, and not for devices running Google's Android mobile operating system.
That's probably because it wasn't developed by home-grown talent, but rather the team from Slide, the social-media company Google acquired a year ago.
MetroPCS Communications announced today that subscribers of the company's $60-per-month Android phone rate plan can receive access to the Rhapsody Unlimited Music service, and some 12 million songs.
Only the service isn't unlimited, at least with regard to the music, due to the absence of one of the four major record labels. Warner Music Group, which has a reputation for being a tough negotiator with digital services, is the only major that didn't sign on to the MetroPCS deal. It's the third-largest of the record companies.
In the past, Warner pulled its music off YouTube during a contract dispute and reportedly was slow to license Spotify's U.S. service. Warner Music and Rhapsody representatives declined to comment about the negotiations.
The idea of bundling music into phone services has been around awhile. The top labels have looked for ways to achieve this but some of the earliest attempts, such as Nokia's "Comes With Music," were a bust.
In that case, consumers were asked to purchase phones that came preloaded with music. With MetroPCS, the music and the charges are tucked into the service and monthly bills.
MetroPCS, a wireless carrier, is known for offering prepaid phones, and a music deal like this should be attractive to the labels. It could help them reach an audience that includes people who aren't participating in the digital economy. It is believed that many MetroPCS subscribers don't own credit cards. … Read more
It's another confusing day on Google.com, with a foreign-looking (for most of us) equation greeting visitors to the search engine's front page. Wednesday's Google doodle is a tribute to mathematician Pierre de Fermat on his 410th birthday.
de Fermat spent most of his life working as a lawyer, but became the father of modern number theory in his spare time. Apparently the lack of e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter in 17th century France allowed the smartypantses of the era to be a lot more productive.
The equation in Google's doodle, x^n + y^n = z^n, … Read more
Amazon was the most visited retail site in June, according to new data out today from Comscore.
Compared with all other online retailers, Amazon.com grabbed more than 282 million visitors in June, reaching 20.4 percent of the entire Internet population around the world.
Trailing in second place was eBay.com with 223.5 million visitors, or 16.2 percent of the global audience. Across the world, China's Alibaba Corporation (which includes Taobao, Alibaba.com and Alipay) saw 156.8 million people, or 11.3 percent of all Internet users, visit its sites.
Some people like reading fiction. Some people like reading biographies of historical figures. The new biography book, "I am Maru," should cover both bases.
The book, which originally came out in Japan in 2009, is finally arriving in the U.S. this month. As with most cool Japanese things, it took awhile.
In case you've actually been working and don't know about Maru, I'll give you a primer. Maru is a pudgy Japanese cat who likes to jump into boxes. I know that doesn't sound like much, but you have to see him in YouTube action to understand the appeal. Maru regularly racks up 500,000 to 2 million hits per video.… Read more
Two men in North West England have been sentenced to four years in prison for using Facebook to incite others to riot, although neither man's actions resulted in any rioting.
Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, were sentenced at Chester Crown Court yesterday, a week after mob violence struck many parts of the U.K. The riots and looting had prompted prime minister David Cameron to say that those "using social media for violence" had to be stopped.
"If we cast our minds back just a few days to last week and recall the way … Read more
Apple is reportedly looking to launch a mobile Web-based store that promises to be more user-friendly than the current Apple Store app, according to a story today from 9To5Mac.
Citing information from a "proven source," 9To5Mac says the new store would "mimic" the Apple Store App but would be simpler and more accessible and let online shoppers more easily download software and buy other Apple products on the go. The new store would be accessed directly through mobile Safari.
The tech news site says it's watched Apple put this project on hold and retool it … Read more