MUSIC TECH UNDER ATTACK
As part of an increasingly aggressive stance against music technology companies, EMI has joined Warner Music in suing playable search provider Seeqpod and added a lawsuit against Favtape to the mix. The suit seeks billions of dollars in damages for copyright infringement from the two mp3 search engines and EMI upped the anty by adding Seeqpod's officers and investors directly to the lawsuit.
EMI also opened a new front in its attack on music tech with a lawsuit against Favtape. The site, which is now offline, was a mash-up using the publicly available API's of Seeqpod, Last.fm and Pandora. Favtape acted like a music search engine, but relied on Seeqpod to perform the function.. Favtape didn't track what music was played or downloaded - all that happened on Seeqpod.
it threatens how the internet works."
- Michael Robertson
Serial music tech entrepreneur Michael Robertson (MP3.com, MP3Tunes) points out that "many technology companies encourage others to connect (via API's) to their service and use them in innovative ways. Google is one of the largest examples of this with many connecting to Google's search, video, advertising and ecommerce services for their own business." Almost 50 digital music companies openly offer API's.
EMI's lawsuit against Favtape is the first example of an API user being sued for the actions of the host company. "Dozens of web sites use Seeqpod's API including: Songerize, Songza, Streamzy, and JustHearIt but Favtape had the misfortune to be in the record labels crosshairs." says Roberston. "If API users can be held liable it threatens how the internet works. The internet is well, inter-connected - not just user to user but service to service. If you can't connect there is no internet."
"Content owners should have right to control where their property is displayed on the net, but the right does not extend to holding liable anyone who links to that material," he continues "Targeting the originator is sufficient because if the source is removed all links or services depending on that will immediately become invalid."