There's great news for music fanatics! It's about Aurous, a file-sharing, music streaming software that is totally free and with no ads.
But even as Aurous made its debut this week, it is already facing lawsuits from the music industry. Major music labels are suing Aurous for "willful and egregious copyright infringement" just days after its earliest alpha version launched. US industry body the RIAA has filed a lawsuit on behalf of labels including Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music subsidiaries Warner Bros, Atlantic and Capitol seeking an injunction against the software as well as damages, according to the Guardian.
Aurous is like Apple Music, Spotify, and Rdio, in that it offers a selection of songs available to stream direct from dedicated apps. But unlike Apple Music, Spotify, and Rdio, it has no ads. And while other streaming services have negotiated expensive deals with record labels and artists to feature their music, Aurous has sidestepped that hurdle, pulling music instead from a variety of third-party sources, Verge.com reports.
While its library is still small, and its model not as obviously illegal as torrenting tracks directly, Aurous will definitely upset record labels and rights holders, Verge.com adds.
Aurous was built by developer Andrew Sampson and launched in alpha form this week. While its developer has said it intends to become an aggregator for music from licensed streaming services, the RIAA's lawsuit claims its sources are piracy sites, said The Guardian.
Describing Aurous, verge.com said it "uses more than 120 public APIs to collate tracks from services such as SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. The service also uses peer-to-peer networking, but not in the same way as Napster or The Pirate Bay — no actual songs are downloaded via torrent. Instead, Aurous uses BitTorrent to collate links directly to streaming music, found in licensed form in existing playlists, videos, or players."
"We're pulling content from sources that are licensed," he told Billboard. "From a legal standpoint, what we're doing is okay. All files are streamed from legitimate sources — we don't host anything." Sampson technically has a point. Billboard reports that for-profit piracy watchdog Rightscorp hit out in late September, claiming that before Aurous launched that it had the technology to stop it from collecting the data it needs to find its songs.
Sampson says he won't fold in the face of pressure. The RIAA is seeking $3 million damages, according to Sampson. Asked by Billboard what he'd do if Aurous received a cease-and-desist from a record label, he said he'd ignore it. "If someone asked us to shut down our service over one song, we wouldn't," he said, but "if someone were to approach us about a pre-release album being available, we would be obliged to help them remove that."
Sampson claims that up to 8,000 people at any one time were downloading the app. "Have you downloaded the app? Will you continue to use it after this news?" asks thenextweb.com.