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Record labels are upset over Amazon's Cloud Drive announcement when the online retailer failed to address license-related negotiations

Just yesterday, Amazon announced its new cloud-based storage service called Cloud Drive, which is quite a feat considering the online retailer jumped ahead of huge tech companies like Apple and Google in the race for music streaming services. But now, the music industry is stepping in, and could possibly slow Amazon's progress.  

Cloud-based music storage has become a popular option for those who use multiple devices. For companies like Amazon, this method of music streaming is a great alternative to relying on CD sales. While other companies continue working on their versions of cloud-based services, such as Apple's MobileMe music component called a "locker," and Google's music service that was rumored to be released with the new Honeycomb launch (but reports are now saying that Google execs are still in the midst of chatting with record labels), Amazon leaped ahead of the game with Cloud Drive, which offers 5 GB of online storage for free and saves album or MP3 purchases to the cloud automatically.

Customers can upgrade to 20 GB of space by purchasing an MP3 album. Also, the Cloud Player allows users to play their music through a PC, Mac or Android-based phones. However, those with an Apple iPhone cannot partake in Amazon's new service.

But now, Amazon may be running into some trouble with record labels, like Sony Music, who was angered by Amazon's new service launch "without new licenses for music streaming." 

"We hope that they'll reach a new license deal," said Liz Young, a spokeswoman for Sony. "But we're keeping all of our legal options open."

Record labels were informed of the new Amazon service last week, and Amazon had not yet addressed license-related negotiations at that point. An executive close to the Amazon discussions, who preferred to remain anonymous due to the confidentiality of the discussions, noted that Amazon's new service might be considered illegal to those in the music industry.  

"I've never seen a company of their size make an announcement, launch a service and simultaneously say they're trying to get licenses," said the executive. 

While users are allowed to store music files on their own computers, it is "unclear whether they have that right when they use remote storage services offered by cloud computing." 

A similar situation occurred in 2007 when EMI sued MP3tunes because they offered a service similar to Amazon's.  

"The labels have engaged in a legal terror campaign over the last 10 years using litigation to try and slow technology progress," said Michael Robertson, MP3tunes founder, regarding the Amazon situation.

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By kleinma on 3/30/2011 10:22:44 AM , Rating: 3
Wouldn't this make it illegal to use any cloud backup service like carbonite or iDrive to backup your music collection? Gotta love the music industry, they don't want you to buy something once, they want everyone to buy it multiple times. Maybe if they just got rid of a few of their lawyers, they would save enough money not to care about these stupid innovation crippling lawsuits.

RE: So.
By theapparition on 3/30/2011 1:38:49 PM , Rating: 5
This just in......

RIAA has now stated it's illegal to stream music to your speakers from your hard drive.

Your purchase of the song is only for the license to store a digital copy on your hard drive. To actually play it, you need to upgrade to a play license*. Pause and rewind licenses sold separately.

*headphone license not included. Parties agree that only the valid purchaser may listen to content, and upon listening will not attempt to sing or humm along, as that constitutes infringement. If the even RIAA thinks anyone else inadvertantly hears said content, they reserve the right to upgrade license to a performance license at 200,000x the cost of original license. Only valid to play music from 2:30am-2:37am. Not applicable to mobile applications, present or future (mobile license required). Mobile license conflicts with automotive license terms. Some assembly required. Not applicable in MA and WI or where voided by law. RIAA can modify this agreement at any time. If you disagree with terms, then the RIAA assumes that both parties agree to disagree and hence the contractual requirements are binding.

RE: So.
By Master Kenobi on 4/1/2011 9:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
That would be extremely funny if the RIAA was unlikely to actually try and push such a thing, but given their track record they most certainly would.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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