As the founder and former CEO of MP3.com I like to think I played a small role in helping MP3 become the global standard and vanquishing DRM (at least with music). I noticed there are many meta search engines for free MP3 files, but none for commercial MP3s. (A meta search engine is one that searches multiple places and compiles the results.) Since there's a large variety in what stores carry I thought it would be useful to create an MP3 store search. Check out the newest version of MP3 Store Guide which now profiles more than 30 MP3 stores and includes a meta search feature. (We're also making the source code for the search engine available for all to use and improve.)
MP3 Store Guide Search Engine
While we're on the topic of music search engines, I wanted to share the latest developments in our court case. Major record label sued me personally and my company MP3tunes trying to shutdown the Sideload.com music search engine and our MP3tunes personal music locker which lets you listen to your music everywhere. (See: EMI Wants My Minivan, I Get To Keep My Minivan and Open Letter To Doug Merrill.)
Below are excerpts from our recent court hearing where the Judge heard oral arguments on our counterclaims but did not rule. Anyone who uses a search engine should care about the outcome. If Sideload is infringing, then other music search engines like Seeqpod and Project Playlist (who are also being sued) are also illegal. If this is true, then Google is infringing too since they are linking to millions of MP3 files.
It's fairly extraordinary that in 2009, the record business is still trying to shut down a search engine.
Sideload dot-com is a search engine. It is like
Google. You don't download anything using Sideload. You don't
distribute music using Sideload. All it does is post links,
the same way that Google does, in fact....
So you can't put something on the web and say, well,
it's for everybody except MP3tunes. Google links to a trillion
Web sites; they don't have express authorization from a
trillion different Web sites. That is what the Internet is about.
If you put it publicly there, others are allowed to link to it.
Do you [EMI] agree that if the plaintiffs
distribute music for free on the Internet, your client
distributes music for free on the Internet, the fact that those
songs are somewhere on MP3tunes Web sites' is not infringement?
I think it still is infringement.
And your Honor asked a very good
question which I think cuts to the very heart of this, which is
once they [EMI] put something on the Internet for free, can we link
to it? And if we're linking to it, can we be sued for
infringement, can we be accused of infringement? The answer is
On that point, why isn't -- and I may have
asked you this before the break, but why isn't the demand that
MP3 remove all EMI tunes a misrepresentation if in fact EMI
knows that some of its tunes are available for free or offered
for free on the Internet?
There are two answers to that. One is
that -- the simple one is that they didn't rely on it, they
didn't take it down, so there is no damage.
But the other one is that we can authorize free uses
of our copyrighted material in certain specific ways.
I gave you the streaming example beforehand.
And now they said, well, you can stream
it but you can't download it. Your Honor, I assisted
Mr. Robertson in the declaration and I went personally and
tested every link that he put in his declaration. And your
Honor can do the same or your Honor's staff can do the same,
not using Sideload dot-com but using their own links. If you
go to their own links, they don't ask you for any personal
information. They don't restrict you from downloading them.
They are the easiest things in the world to download. These
are things that they put on to be downloaded. And now they are
suing us for linking them.
NOTE: [Words in brackets I added for clarity.] Read the entire transcript here.
To discuss this topic with others, click here!
The Michael's Minute Meter
View the Michael's Minute Meter Report