Muziic Founder Reaches for YouTube

[Source: CNET News]

David Nelson, the 15-year-old co-founder of the free site Muziic, idealizes Napster creator Shawn Fanning. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to run his business the same way.

Muziic, which launched two weeks ago, is a music service that piggybacks on YouTube. Nelson’s software rounds up YouTube’s music videos and enables users to sort and add them to playlists as if they were MP3s. There’s no messing around with YouTube’s search engine, videos, or advertisements.

There’s little about Muziic that compares to Napster, the peer-to-peer service that helped demolish the traditional music business and usher in a new digital era. Yet, Napster in its original trailblazing form didn’t last long. The site, some would argue, doomed itself by defying copyright law. For Muziic, Nelson has more modest goals and higher hopes.

Nelson, who lives with his parents in Bettendorf, Iowa, about 60 miles east of Iowa City, said: “We knew when we started out that the key was to develop something legal.”

But the question of the site’s legality is still unanswered. Mark Nelson, David’s father and Muziic’s co-founder, acknowledged this week that Muziic was built without the consent of YouTube or any of the major recording companies. What’s unclear is whether Muziic complies with the terms of service for YouTube’s API or whether the big record companies will object on the basis of copyright.

Last weekend, a YouTube spokesman said that after a preliminary review of the site, Muziic appears to violate its terms of service. The spokesman didn’t specify how. On Thursday, Mark Nelson, 45, said he and David were contacted by YouTube and talks between the companies have begun.

Later in the day, a YouTube spokesman issued a statement about Muziic that at best was noncommittal: “We encourage people to leverage the power of our open API to embed YouTube videos in creative and innovative ways that comply with our terms of service.”

About The Author

Jamie is a co-founder and senior editor at Technigrated, covering all facets of the tech industry. In addition to working at Technigrated, Jamie is a Founding Partner of NBR Design Studio, a graphic and web design and hosting firm headquartered in Bethany Beach, DE.

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