SeeqPod, the MP3 search engine which lets users play music on the site, has come under target by the Warner Music legal team because it lets its users stream MP3 files which are hosted on other sites, which its bots index. Warner Music is suing, saying that it does not matter whether the illegal MP3 files are hosted by SeeqPod or not, and the company is giving its users a vehicle to play these files.
The argument is an extension of the old caching system used by search engines to identify and house relevant contextual information, whether that be in the form of hyper text, video or audio media. For example, a simple search through Google Video picks up loads of copyrighted footage which is hosted upon third party sites.
As services like SeeqPod do grow, the entertainment industry will be forced to work with them instead of against them like they have with YouTube and MySpace, as demand for instant music will bring such companies together to still profit from advertising or branding.
SeeqPod does publish its own legal defense of its indexing of copyrighted music files:
- Although SeeqPod does not host content it encourages the adherence to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Along with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, SeeqPod is a member of The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA ) which advocates Fair Use of copyrighted content on the Internet. The CCIA legal team is supported by its members and has promoted the fact that courts have repeatedly held that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the doctrine of Fair Use shield search engines from liability. Without the ability to link to hosted content on the Internet the search engine industry would not be able to exist. Removing links to content on the Internet that cannot be found anywhere else is a form of censorship and counter to the principles Free Speech.
It is SeeqPod’s policy, in appropriate circumstances and at its discretion, to disable and/or terminate the accounts of users who may infringe or repeatedly infringe the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of SeeqPod and/or others.
Notice for Claims of Intellectual Property Violations and Agent for Notice
If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, or that your intellectual property rights have been otherwise violated, please provide SeeqPod’s Copyright Agent with the following information (please consult your legal counsel or see Section 512(c)(3) of the Copyright Act to confirm these requirements):
1. an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright or other intellectual property interest;
2. a description of the copyrighted work or other intellectual property that you claim has been infringed;
3. a description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the SeeqPod site, with enough detail that we may find it on the web site;
4. your address, telephone number, and email address;
5. a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright or intellectual property owner, its agent, or the law;
6. a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your Notice is accurate and that you are the copyright or intellectual property owner or authorized to act on the copyright or intellectual property owner’s behalf.