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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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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
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)

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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