Warner Music has succeeded in its lawsuit against German Start-up SongBeat. SongBeat allowed to search for mp3 songs using integrated search tools from Seeqpod, Project Playlist, SpoolFM or iASK. SongBeat offered even the possibility to download the songs. Unfortunately, the downloads had not the blessing of majors.
This did not worry the start-up. According to its CEO
The downloading of music is not fundamentally illegal. However, it lies in the hands of the user to discern whether or not they have the right to download the particular music file at hand.
Well, the judge did not have the same understanding. veoh was smarter about this issue (see Veoh versus Universal Music Group) SongBeat will ask for an appeal. Nevertheless, the chances are weak.
When reading the last IFPI report 2009, we see that music industry will look for new revenues through digital music. The trend is also towards DRM free music. Nevertheless, DRM free does not mean without any control. Music industry is not ready to loose its control on who makes money and how much. Music industry will probably not tolerate uncontrolled distribution of its copyrighted songs.