prostoalex writes "Is music played via customized playlist delivered interactively (i.e., via user participation) or non-interactive (i.e., decisions are made on the server side)? The question does seem metaphysical, but it took Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Yahoo! six years to figure it out via a protracted legal battle. User-driven playlists are bucketed with on-demand music services, while server-driven playlists are equaled to broadcasts, thereby causing different licensing mechanisms to take place. Yahoo! inherited the legal wrangle when it purchased a music startup Launch, which built a music recommendation feature. The court decision determined that recommendation algorithms that rely on usage data to build playlists server-side are still eligible for broadcast license, thereby substantially lowering the costs of operating a music recommendation site."
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