Gracenote made few friends when it appropriated the massive
database of CD information formerly known as CDDB and started
charging fees to get at the information. The unhappiness level was
jacked up Friday as the company announced it's suing a customer
who's chosen to move to an open souce competitor.
Online music database Gracenote, which once labeled
itself a "grassroots Internet darling," got a lesson Friday in the
slash-and-burn culture of the Internet after announcing it would
sue a customer intent on moving to an open-source competitor of its
After the Thursday announcement, open-source advocates--from
Linux evangelists to technophile site Slashdot.org--inundated the
defendant of the suit, CD-burning software maker Roxio, with
letters of support and criticized Gracenote openly.
In a statement Thursday, Gracenote said it had charged Roxio
with patent infringement. Without addressing the legal merits of
those claims, critics attacked the suit for seeking to undermine
principles of the open-source philosophy, which posits that
information should be freely shared.