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YouTube's 'Muziic' Hits Web

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Another free online music streaming service has hit the Web, with some questionable legal cover.

Muziic is simply an iTunes-like interface that draws on YouTube for music content rather than licensing from the labels and publishers. But unlike most services that use YouTube as its content source, Muziic strips out the video to deliver only the audio stream instead.

Such disaggregation of the audio from the video has been a point of contention by the music industry in the past, particularly over concerns that any ads included in the music video -- either around the video on YouTube's site or embedded as an overlay in the video itself -- would get lost, meaning labels/publishers/artists would not get paid for the streams.

Muziic attempts to get around this by repurposing these ads in a small window in its player, but the image is far smaller than what would otherwise be seen on YouTube, and easily ignored. It essentially turns what was sold as a video ad into an audio ad, which is immediately devaluing.

To date, there have been no lawsuits against music services that draw on YouTube's content, as most include the full video rather than just the audio stream. Unlike services such as SeeqPod, which draw on a number of third-party services to stream its music, including many that are unauthorized, Muziic only taps an authorized source in YouTube.