Obviating the obvious: You can now share but not really share music via Google+ and YouTube

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.

Offering the obvious: Google adds downloads to Google Music (locker)

Google tends to refer to a wide variety of music-related products as “Google Music.” When the bits hit the hard drive, however, you buy tracks from the Android Market, upload tracks to Google Music (locker), watch music videos on YouTube, and… you get the picture.
And so, even though Google Music is one of the few products launched by the Mountain View behemoth that shifted out of beta within moments, this whole music thing on Google is clearly a work-in-progress.
Recently, Google announced two changes to its products that directly impact not only music rightsholders, but also music consumers.
Most importantly, it should be said that one of these new features offers up the obvious by adding a feature to Google Music accounts that should have been there from the start, while the other obviates the obvious by withholding  from account holders functionality that should have been there from the start.
Google Music (locker) accounts are now setup to permit files uploaded to the locker to be downloaded from the locker. In other words, your Googe Music locker now does what it should have done from the beginning!
While the gut reaction of many industry pundits was to compare music lockers to interactive music services (like Spotify), many consumers saw a more basic challenge: backup. For these consumers, lockers are seen as a place to store music collections, collections that in most case have grown to tens-of-gigabytes in size.
Furthermore, while Google liked to present the challenge of moving music from your computer to your Android device as a piece of cake, few cakes (or only the best cakes) involve behaviour as graphic as Mounting other things. Instructing customers to “mount” their mobile phone just did not resonate with the masses. And so Google has tried to simplify the experience.
This new download “feature” simply:
(a) permits the Google locker to match an aspect of Apple’s iCloud (aka, iTunes Match) offering and
(b) enables a locker to to operate like any normal storage device would. Files uploaded to the cloud can be not only accessed but also obtained from that cloud.
If you are domiciled in a country wherein these sorts of copies of copies (of copies) are covered by fair use protections or private copying exemptions or similar, your best course of action is a bottle of scotch.
If, however, you operate in country without such protections or exemptions you probably are hearing the sound of little pennies (or pence) hitting your bank account with each new copy made for each upload to and download from the Google Music Locker.
Without this basic feature, however, Google Music is a less compelling service. So choosing to not license “the download” will deflate the value of “the performance.”