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Google Music Search Leans Legal

As expected, Google has launched a new music search feature that incorporates streaming audio previews when users search for artists, albums, or songs. It also includes a music discovery component from services like Pandora, Rhapsody, and Imeem. Officially named Google's "music search feature," it's designed to help expose people to legitimate Internet music outlets, which will help those companies compete with free -- and, in many cases, unauthorized -- sources of music online. To date, Google has been widely criticized by music labels and online music stores for at least seeming indifferent to the legality of a given music file. The new music search, therefore, won't scrub unlicensed sites from search results in an effort to steer people to sites that compensate copyright holders. For all its good intentions, however, the L.A. Times, for one, concludes that "Google still has some work to do on the new feature."

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