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  (Source: gottabemobile.com)
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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RE: Gotta love it
By amanojaku on 3/30/2011 10:49:12 AM , Rating: 2
It matters a whole hell of a lot because of how the industry distributes electronic music. Services like the iTunes Store and Zune Marketplace use a variety of mechanisms to restrict software distribution, among them user account names and device IDs. For example, you, FITCamaro, have purchased Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" from the iTunes store and the fascists dictate it can only run on the iPod with the serial number xxxxxxxxxx. Buy a new iPod and you have to reset the device ID associated with the account. And maybe it's me, but iPods tend to get wiped and re-synched a lot by iTunes. My guess is to prevent you from storing files that you've obtained from outside of the paid store (i.e. your friends). The level of remote control over your device is just frightening.

Now, with Amazon's scheme you don't have the restriction of a device. You can play your songs through a web browser (like a store playing songs over a loud speaker, which requires a license), or on any Android phone. Pretty much anyone can connect to your account and get stuff. The record companies don't like that.

As an aside, I think it's HILARIOUS that Apple devices are not supported! My guess is the web player uses Flash. :-)


RE: Gotta love it
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/30/2011 10:58:17 AM , Rating: 4
Amazon's mp3 store already does not have these limitations though. If you buy an mp3 from Amazon today, it lets you download the file to your hard drive and that is it, there is regulation of how, when, where you can use that mp3.

The only change with this new announcement is that they will host your mp3 in the cloud for you. For someone else to access your songs they would need your account information. But that's exactly how it is today regardless of this new announcement. If I gave you my account info, you could log on and download any songs that I have ever bought from Amazon with no charge. The cloud streaming will make this easier to do, but effectively it's the same thing.

The record labels just want to treat this like other streaming services (despite the fundamental difference that you are streaming something you already own) so that they can charge more fees. It's as simple as that.


RE: Gotta love it
By PitViper007 on 3/30/2011 2:57:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
For someone else to access your songs they would need your account information. But that's exactly how it is today regardless of this new announcement. If I gave you my account info, you could log on and download any songs that I have ever bought from Amazon with no charge.


Umm, not exactly. When you buy a digital song (or album) from Amazon, you get to download it ONCE. Once you've done that initial download, you can't download it again. They do NOT allow you to redownload your library again anytime you want, which is one of the few things I don't like about Amazon's music store.


RE: Gotta love it
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/30/2011 3:46:16 PM , Rating: 2
You're absolutely right. You can only download Amazon mp3s once.

I had seen in my Amazon media library, that if I clicked the 'Downloads' tab, it showed a list of my mp3s, and each of them had a 'Download' button on the right hand side. I thought that meant I could re-download them, but had never actually tried it. Now that I just tried it, I see that it only redirects me to a page which says that I've already downloaded that file. WTF Amazon???

So as you pointed out, I was mistaken on this. Thanks for the correction.

Fortunately the only mp3s I've obtained through Amazon were free promotions from CDs that I bought, otherwise I'd probably be pissed about that...


RE: Gotta love it
By ImEmmittSmith on 3/30/2011 4:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
One caveat to the only Once download thru Amazon you may not know, is that if you make a request for a song or album that is damaged(or not) they will allow you to download it again. I have several albums/songs that Amazon has given me access to again and the download button has never gone away. All you have to do is ask! :o)


RE: Gotta love it
By brybir on 3/30/2011 10:59:20 AM , Rating: 2
Except the fact is that when I buy an MP3 from Amazon, I am downloading a real, validated and working MP3 file that I can do whatever the hell I want with it.

Other posters have pointed out that I can sign up for dropbox or any other hosting site, move my MP3 to that site, and stream it to the cloud in any way that I please and I am perfectly within my rights.

All Amazon is doing is giving me the option to have my MP3's, that I could otherwise download and DO WHATEVER I WANT WITH THEM, to be placed in my cloud ahead of time.

The only reason the record companies think that this is against some terms and agreements is because they see streaming music as distint from buying and downloading a music, i.e. the difference between the zune marketplace $10 all song you want and your 99 cent amazon downloads. The difference being, to the labels, they will charge MS a very small fee per song (say 3 cents) per song streamed, because you dont get to keep it and so they make money over time as you listen to songs repeatedly or even go out and buy the song later at full price. I imagine the labels see this and say, oh no they are getting to download the song AND get free streaming of the song as well, and we did not negotiate that with Amazon, and because we always get extra revenue for streaming as opposed to downloading, we are missing our share of the money.

My opinion is that this is nothing more than a contract dispute, it is not a question of "rights", but, what did the labels and Amazon sign in their contract about streaming. My guess is the contract has a few pages talking about streaming music being seperate, and basically Amazon is saying this is NOT streaming as discussed above, merely storage that happens to have a player in it, so it is not covered by the contract. But, without copies of the contract, it is hard to know.

Realistically, this was a very smart move from Amazon. They needed an edge to keep up competitively with Apple, and this just provided them a large innovation that Apple that does not have and that many people, like me, are excited about. I'm just suprised Google did not offer it sooner.


RE: Gotta love it
By cochy on 3/30/2011 11:58:26 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The only reason the record companies think that this is against some terms and agreements is because they see streaming music as distint from buying and downloading a music


In other words, the record companies are clueless. Old news.


RE: Gotta love it
By kraeper on 3/30/2011 2:28:00 PM , Rating: 1
For the record, having an mp3 file does not give you the legal right to "DO WHATEVER I WANT WITH THEM". For example, you cannot broadcast it in public, you cannot upload it to bittorrent, you cannot give copies to friends, etc etc etc. Sure the technology exists, but that does not give you the legal right to use it.

Yes I hate record companies, yes this 'dispute' is all about money, and I hope they lose this (currently non-existent) case, but "I can already do that!" isn't a valid legal defense. Owning a gun does not give you the legal right to shoot whomever you'd like either.
Just sayin.


RE: Gotta love it
By nafhan on 3/30/2011 11:07:15 AM , Rating: 2
It actually hasn't worked that way in years. Amazon only sells MP3's and most stuff in iTunes is DRM free as well.

IMO, the best part about what Amazon is doing here is making it very difficult to accidentally lose your music due to a synching problem, hard drive crash, lost iPod, etc. Music gets saved into the user's personal cloud storage where it can be re-downloaded at any time. I think the music industry has been benefiting from people repurchasing digital music, and this could largely put a stop to that.


RE: Gotta love it
By kattanna on 3/30/2011 11:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As an aside, I think it's HILARIOUS that


you have pictured fit driving along singing to pour some sugar on me

thats an image thats making me chuckle

thanks!


RE: Gotta love it
By FITCamaro on 3/30/2011 1:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Great song for chicks to strip to.


RE: Gotta love it
By theapparition on 3/30/2011 1:39:22 PM , Rating: 4
Then why would you need it.

;P


RE: Gotta love it
By tng on 3/30/2011 5:22:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And maybe it's me, but iPods tend to get wiped and re-synched a lot by iTunes. My guess is to prevent you from storing files that you've obtained from outside of the paid store (i.e. your friends).
I have other libraries on my Ipod and they work just fine, but they were ripped from CDs, never tried someone else's downloads from Itunes.

I also wonder about the amount of remote control, it seems that there is a software update for the player and the pod every 2 weeks from Apple, and I have a 5 year old, 30GB player.

I also will say that I love my Ipod, but hate Itunes. I have become an expert at reloading my libraries since it seems that Itunes has a tendency to wipe them out periodically via software updates and who knows what (last time I opened the application and after it came up there was nothing there anymore).

I find it pathetic that Apple can't seem to get it right, as much as I bitch about MS, I don't have as many problem with Vista as I do with Apple software.

Sorry, end rant....


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