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Warner slaps Nokia for Web 2.0 swap site

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Nokia's Music Store went live last week - but look in vain for anything by Led Zepp, John Coltrane, or Smokey Robinson. That's because Warner Music Group (WMG) is refusing to license its catalogues to the phone giant, in protest at its Web 2.0 file swapping site, Mosh.

WMG says Mosh is a hotbed of copyright infringement. Nokia has responded by saying it employs humans round the clock, as well as using Audible Magic software to weed out unlicensed content. Warner sources have told Billboard that the two sides are far from a deal, and that litigation is a possibility.

Nokia launched the fully buzzword-compliant "social media" site back in August, we reported here, prompting reader Pascal Monett to hail it "a Nokia-centric happy slapping database". In June, even before the public "beta" launch, we'd received emails pointing out cracked applications were being freely traded.

Is Warners' claim true? Well, it only took 30 seconds to find this gem from Minneapolis' finest:

Unlicensed content is easy to find on Mosh

Nokia's MOSH file sharing site is used for ... file sharing

... and contrary to Nokia's claim that most infringing material is removed within two hours, that's been up for months.

But unlicensed music isn't really in evidence; it's buried beneath mountains of user-generated crud. Much more in keeping with the tone of the site were gems such as "conservative party i love you" and "you-fat-bastard.mp3": material at the vanguard of the User Generated Content revolution.

No surprise there, then.

More puzzling is the question - what on earth was Nokia thinking when it launched the file-sharing site?

It looks like another Dad-at-the-Disco attempt from a company so desperate to "get" the internet, it leaves common sense behind. Mosh would be a disaster even if it was never tainted by copyright infringing material.

Nokia has long been regarded as a soft touch by California technology evangelists and consultants. Now it has created a feedback loop for itself by only listening to buzzword-spouting bloggers.

Having to choose between Motown and "you-fat-bastard.mp3" is just the sort of reality check Nokia needs. Perhaps it can bring the space cadet tendency at Nokia back down to Earth. ®

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