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CNET News.com: Gracenote under pressure

May 13, 2001, 18:02 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert Lemos)

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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 song database.

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.

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