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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed 364

Sockatume writes: In a statement to the Financial Times and reported by the BBC, Google has confirmed that it will remove the music videos of independent artists unless they sign up to its upcoming subscription music service. Many independent musicians and labels have refused to do so, claiming that the contracts offer significantly worse deals than the likes of Spotify and Pandora, and that Google is unwilling to negotiate on the rates it offers artists. A Google spokesperson indicated that the company could start removing videos within days.

Google Drops XMPP Support 416

Cbs228 writes "During last week's Google I/O conference, the company announced a replacement for its aging Talk instant messenger: Google Hangouts. Hangouts, which is only available for Android, iOS, and Chrome, offers closer integration with Google+. Unfortunately, the new product drops support for the XMPP instant messaging protocol, which has been an integral part of Talk for over ten years. XMPP delivers instant messages to desktop clients, like Pidgin, and enables communication between users on different instant messaging networks. Hangouts users attempting to communicate with contacts on non-Google servers, such as jabber.org, have found that all communications have been suddenly and inexplicably severed. A Google account is now required to communicate with Hangouts users. Google Hangouts joins the ranks of an already-crowded ecosystem of closed, incompatible chat products like Skype." Interesting, because Google Wave was based on XMPP and Google was integral to the creation of the Jingle extension that enabled video chatting over XMPP. Note that no end date has been set for Talk yet, but the end must surely be nigh given Google's recent history of axing products like Reader and CalDAV support from their calendar app without much notice.

Google Deal Allegedly Lets UMG Wipe YouTube Videos It Doesn't Own 392

Sockatume writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Google has given music conglomerate UMG the right to arbitrarily eliminate YouTube videos. When UMG had Megaupload's 'Mega Song' removed from the site, it was assumed that they had made a DMCA claim, and that YouTube was responding under its 'safe harbor' obligations. Megaupload's legal response argues that UMG has no grounds to request a DMCA takedown. However in court filings (PDF), UMG claims that its licensing agreement with Google gives it the power and authority to unilaterally wipe videos from the site, bypassing the DMCA entirely. If true, that means that your activities on YouTube are not just curtailed by the law, but by the terms of their secret agreements with media conglomerates."

Judge Says You Can't Know If Google Spies For NSA 197

witherstaff writes "A federal judge has ordered that whether Google is spying for the National Security Agency or not, you have no right to know. EPIC, which brought the lawsuit, says the NSA can neither confirm nor deny any relationship with Google. EPIC is worried the 'NSA is developing technical standards that would enable greater surveillance of Internet users.'"

TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure 393

mvdwege writes "The popular wiki TV Tropes, a site dedicated to the discussion of various tropes, clichés and other common devices in fiction has suddenly decided to put various of its pages behind a 'possibly family-unsafe' content warning, apparently due to pressure by Google withdrawing its ads. What puzzles me most is the content that is put behind this warning. TV Tropes features no explicit sexual content, and no explicit violence. It does of course discuss these things, as is its remit, but without actual explicit depictions. In fact, something as relatively innocuous as children being raised by two females, whatever the reason are put behind the content warning, even if the page itself doesn't take a stand on the issue, merely satisfying itself by describing the occurence of this in fiction."

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar