Guruji.com, a Sequoia Capital backed search engine has shut its music search site: users visiting Guruji.com/music are redirected to the sites homepage and the music page is now inaccessible. This development follows after Guruji had removed the music search link from its homepage, though the page was still accessible through www.guruji.com/music; a development which was reported by Pluggd.in last month. Update: Guruji CEO Anurag Dod told MediaNama that the decision to shut down Guruji music is a business decision: they chose not to many any more investments in the music product. They are looking at other domains, and will be announcing something shortly.
Remember that last year, executives from Guruji.com were arrested following a criminal complaint from music label T-Series. On being contacted by MediaNama, Neeraj Kalyan, Head (International Business, Publishing & Digital Content) at T-Series, messaged that the case is still pending and will be taken “to its logical end irrespective of whether they have stopped the service, because infringement once done is still infringement.” Dod said that the complaint was filed last year, and that they have given their representation on the complaint.
Guruji’s music search was built on the lines of Chinese search engine Baidu’s music search, which provided access to pirated music through “deep linking”. We’re not sure if there’s a legal precedent on “deep linking” in India, but the Guruji case might just set one. But the real problem, in our opinion, is not the deep linking site, but piracy sites like Songs.pk (which, until December 2010, was among the 10 most accessed mobile Internet sites using Opera Mini) In the meantime, there are legitimate music streaming services live: Gaana.com* (in alpha), Rediff Songbuzz, In.com music,ibibo Music, Saavn.com, Google Music.
*Disclosure: Indiatimes, which has launched Gaana.com, is an advertiser with MediaNama