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Top digital music lawyer joins Google

Original post made by GoogleWatch, News on Mountain View's largest employer, on Jul 22, 2010

Google has tapped a noted digital music attorney to aid its quest to launch a cloud-based streaming music service.

Elizabeth Moody has previously worked for Davis, Shapiro, Lewit & Hayes, a law firm specializing in digital music matters. The move is being interpreted by TechCrunch as an effort by Google to help overcome the difficult legal hurdles that stand between it and a successful streaming music service, which [Web Link TechCrunch] has assumed will be called, simply, Google Music.

When Google acquired YouTube in 2006, it ensured that it would be forever and inextricably tied to the world of streaming video on the web. It was a smart investment to say the least.

In one fell swoop the Mountain View search engine titan merged with a company, whose name has become synonymous with streaming online video. Much as people "Google" information online, they also "YouTube" video.

However, despite Google's prominence in the world of search and online video, the company may have a harder time encouraging music fans to turn their planned streaming music venture into a verb.

That's because the company is in a stiff race against two other big names hoping to corner the streaming music service market in the United States. Those two companies are Apple and [Web Link Spotify].

The former, of course, being the Cupertino company that brought the world iTunes, the iPod, and which recently bought the Palo Alto-based cloud music service Lala. Apple purchased Lala in October 2009 and [Web Link shuttered] the service at the end of May. The company is expected to eventually integrate streaming music into iTunes, but no official launch date has been announced.

Spotify is already up and running in Europe. It gives users unlimited streaming music for a monthly fee. So far, Spotify has been unable to work out deals with the four major record labels for implementation in the U.S.

Google has already launched a music search service, and obviously has a lot of leverage. It is Google, after all. However, the company does not have the momentum in this particular area of online content as Apple and Spotify do.

There are other streaming music sites out there, perhaps most notably Grooveshark, a service similar to the late Lala and Spotify.

Many in the music industry [Web Link envision] a future when individual music collections are not stored on individuals' devices, but rather on a server somewhere far away. Users, then, will merely access their tunes instead of playing them back from their mobile devices. This will free users from the limits imposed by the storage capacity of a given hand held device and give them access to an unlimited number of songs from anywhere they can pick up an WiFi, 3G or 4G signal.

-Nick Veronin


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