MSN Music hijacking radio station playlists?

So far, feedback for Microsoft's newly launched MSN Music has been pretty positive. Until now. is reporting that more than 900 radio stations have complained after Microsoft nabbed effective copies of their playlists.

Although some members might remember the old adage that to be copied means one is admired, Radio station owners don't seem to be seeing it this way. When they broadcast on-air, they have adverts; Microsoft are broadcasting online without the adverts, and without the stations DJs. Rob Bennett, senior director for MSN Entertainment commented "It results in a more pleasant experience because you don't have the ads or the DJs." How kind.

Not surprisingly, radio stations across the nation see this as Microsoft piggy-backing their hard work, and an unfair way to compete in the market. MSN Radio is part of MSN Music, and was largely over looked when MSN Music launched. One of it's features is the 'localised radio', offering content from 1,200 radio stations.

The current situation is arguably quite confusing. Microsoft label sites with "like XY.Z FM" and then list what Microsoft describe as a factual piece of information - the name - rather than a trademark. One can't but wonder, if the tables were turned, would there be trademark cease and desist letters being sealed?

View: SFGate Article

View: MSN Music | MSN Radio

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