You can now *not share* music by choosing to “share” via Google+ the music video version of the music audio tracks you have in your Google Music locker. If that last sentence was a bit confusing, you just don’t understand the intricacies of copyright and the nuances of product functionality.
That’s right, it is now easier , or at least more bds within Google+, to link to the music video of a track in your music library than to link to the lowly audio track itself.
Unlike Facebook, who has relied upon partners—ok, relied upon some partners while aggressively promoting one of those partners in which a particular Facebook shareholder holds a major stake—to enable the firm to avoid building a compelling music experience that (gasp) might require a license, Google has chosen to rely upon its own for-the-most part licensed or send-us-a-takedown YouTube as the platform for sharing musical experiences across users of Google+.
Since it would have been a licensing nightmare for Google to enable a Google+ user to offer streaming access from their music locker collection to another Google+ user, the only “legal” solution was to offer up links to licensed (or yet to be handed a take down request) music videos in lieu of the audio alone.
While some might interpret Google’s inclusion of YouTube within Google+ as a platform play, others will see this move is simply a workaround. In the absence of a reasonable means to both monetize and license u2u (user to user) music experiences, Google had to look to its next best option—YouTube (or VEVO).
Why? Because music lockers are supposed to be private spaces. And triggering takedown notices as a result of files in a music locker signals that the locker wasn’t really a locker at all. Right? Trouble is, people have been posting links to their MegaUpload, Rapidshare, CloudApp, [insert name of sharing source] files to their social network status for a few years now.
Google chose the next best thing—YouTube video URLs—in an effort to play nicely with others.
The simple and likely more compelling solution would have been for users within Google+ to be able to share streams of music (audio not video) from their locker with other users. But in a hipster world where bad is good and cool is hot and the shit isn’t actually shitty we get complex rather than simple and are supposed to be stoked (or slammed, or whatever is the cool thing to say).
Music experiences should be easily embedded within our interactions on social networks.
Until both licensee and licensor can find a middle ground on this issues, we are left dealing with workarounds.