Time and time again, people have shown that Google is just as capable of tracking down copyrighted songs as sites like the Pirate Bay, and it's seemed inevitable that the music industry would confront the search giant sooner or later. Only now, Google's cut to the chase by pursuing a small label called Blue Destiny Records.
To some degree, Blue Destiny asked for this fight. It actually accused Google, Microsoft, and Rapidshare of various types of copyright infringement in a lawsuit filed in Florida late last year. Also, even after withdrawing the suit, Blue Destiny's lawyers let Google know that they might take interest in the matter again.
So Google's chosen to seek a declaratory judgment on its own terms in California. Google would like a court to confirm that it hasn't committed contributory infringement, vicarious infringement, or inducement infringement. The company's argued that it's protected by the DMCA safe harbor provisions.
Google's even asked that Blue Destiny pay for its court costs, as well.
A win here would be important for Google, establishing it as blameless however many copyrighted songs its users happen to download. Of course, other music companies could - and probably will - still go after it in the future, but a win here would at least ensure that a precedent's on Google's side.