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Amazon released a letter to record labels on Monday saying that the Cloud Drive is legal, but is willing to meet with record labels today to discuss licensing rights

After much debate and disapproval regarding Amazon's Cloud Drive, the online retailer is finally meeting with record labels today to discuss licensing rights.

Amazon's Cloud Drive is an internet-based storage application that offers 5 GB of storage free of charge. Users can store music, pictures and documents in the cloud and pull them up on different devices. The Cloud Drive also features a Cloud Player, which is a music streaming application. 

When Amazon first launched the Cloud Player in March of this year, record labels were angered at the fact that Amazon hadn't paid for licensing rights to stream music to its users. According to those in the music industry, Amazon only had licensing rights to sell digital downloads, which may make the new Cloud Drive illegal.

Amazon released a letter to record labels on Monday saying that the Cloud Drive is legal, and even compared it to Microsoft's SkyDrive or Google Docs. The letter also noted that Amazon's Cloud Player is similar to Microsoft's Windows Media Player, and that it had increased sales of digital songs in Amazon's MP3 store. 

Despite Amazon's disagreement with record labels over the legality of the Cloud Drive, the online retail giant is willing to meet with record labels today to discuss licensing rights. 

"We don't publicly discuss our meetings with partners, and we have not announced any changes to Amazon Cloud Drive or Amazon Cloud Player since the launch," said Cat Griffin, an Amazon spokeswoman.  

Record labels are likely eager to meet with Amazon as well since the risk of other companies following in Amazon's footsteps is too great to chance. Other companies could create services like the Cloud Drive, where the music industry is not included in regards to licensing rights. 

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By kenny24000 on 4/20/2011 6:12:17 AM , Rating: 2
If you had a website and wanted to allow a person to press play and listen to a song you didnt own a copyright to, you would need a license. The license fee is alot of money. Then you would have to pay so much every time some 1 played it. If you look at youtube, they host and stream your content but not if its copy written. Back up storage sites are exactly that. They are to back up your files, not to stream it. Amazon cloud explicitly streams copy written material. Really it is not theirs to stream. If you bought an mp3 from me and I said I will host it for you and stream it to you whenever you like I would get more business effectively making more profit off streaming something I dont own. If I wanted to stream music to help bolster my offering I would have to get the license. Yea they are way to high and out of control but basically amazon cloud is offering streamed copy written content, something that every other music streamer has to pay a license for plus per play fees plus purchase the track to begin with. They are gonna have to pay something. I think entertainers may be overpaid especially actors and athletes but alot of musicians struggle for the couple that make it big and there getting there goods stolen left and right. I Think the amazon cloud service is an awesome one but the music industry is pretty sensitive and may deserve something under the current distribution laws.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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