by Chris Castle
Rap Genius topped any Google results for practically any lyric search string, so the site was very well-known to music fans. That enviable ranking doesn’t seem dissimilar from search results for Isohunt, the Pirate Bay or Kickass Torrents.
So what was the cardinal sin justifying Google in disappearing Rap Genius? Operating without licenses? No, certainly not that. Openly challenging the music industry? No, not that either.
It would appear Rap Genius did the one thing Google doesn’t permit — it spoke openly about beating Google at its own game. Rap Genius evidently tricked Google’s search algorithm into ranking it higher than the site should have been absent the manipulation. And for this cheeky violation of Google’s rules — not a law — the search giant demonstrated two points in one flex of its dominant muscle.
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New blog Music Intelligentsia digs into Music, Politics, Innovation. Dig In!
Fair Use by Google Books? Fair Use by GoldieBlox? Is copyright law being turned on its already-spinning head? Music Intelligentsia presents the commentary of 10 highly regarded experts regarding this important and controversial issue.
For quick reference, please use the links below to go directly to a particular commentary.
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This guest post at Billboard is a great overview for understanding the “Free Market Royalty Act.”
Representative Mel Watt (D-NC-12) has introduced the Free Market Royalty Act (H.R. 3219), one of the most intriguing royalty proposals in years. The bill accomplishes two principal goals: Watt starts the process of getting the government out of the music business by eliminating the compulsory license for digital audio transmissions, and extends the sound recording public performance right to all audio performances.
Here’s why this is a productive solution to a knotty problem.
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