Music Industry Unhappy With Amazon's Cloud Drive - HotHardware
Music Industry Unhappy With Amazon's Cloud Drive

Music Industry Unhappy With Amazon's Cloud Drive

Earlier this week, we covered Amazon's announcement of its new 5GB Cloud Drive service. Amazon is pushing the free service as a "upload once, access anywhere" option that allows users to play the music they want, wherever they are. When questions of licensing were raised, Amazon spokesperson Cat Griffin told Ars Technica: "Cloud Player is an application that lets customers manage and play their own music. It's like any number of existing media management applications. We do not need a license to make Cloud Player available."

The music industry isn't particularly happy with that answer, and neither are some of Amazon's competitors. Companies like Sony and Apple have been unable to reach mutually satisfactory arrangements with the music studios over questions of licensing and compensation. Amazon didn't offer the record labels anything special—it just ignored them and launched a service anyway.

Sony Music, is "upset" by Amazon's actions, noting: "We hope that they'll reach a new license deal, but we're keeping all of our legal options open." Another executive in the music business have described Amazon's move as 'somewhat stunning' and noted "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, who requested anonymity from Reuters because the discussions were not public.



The industry is already waving the legal red flag on Amazon's claim that it doesn't need additional licenses. Part of the problem may well be cultural. The entire music industry relies on a business model that treats music as a series of physically manufactured widgets that can be licensed, bought, and sold. Until the late 1990s, musical widgets were tied directly to physical media. Even with digital distribution, there's still a sense of physicality—as the Limewire case demonstrates, the record studios were hoping to assess damages based on every distinct infringement that Limewire facilitated.

Distribution via cloud computing is even more abstract. Post-purchase, songs and albums are disseminated into a model we'll describe as 'Buy Once, Play Everywhere.' It's built on the music industry's neuroses regarding music subscription services but leaves out comforting words like "rent, "license," " and "provided you continue to subscribe."

Amazon's
decision to launch without license approval may actually be aimed at bringing the studios to the bargaining table more quickly. Attempting to claim that Amazon is acting illegally may be little more than saber-rattling. There's precious little difference between off-site storage and cloud storage. Users might attempt to use Cloud Drive to distribute infringing material, but centralized bandwidth monitoring could track such issues. 
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This is nothing more than me backing up my files to any other cloud based service except for the fact that they allow me to access those files and stream them to my own devices. How could the music industry ask Amazon to license the song that other people own licenses. This is just another reason why I buy physical media whenever possible and rip digital copies for my own listening pleasure. Amazon's service makes me interested in buying digital music from them since I would never risk losing my purchases and having to re buy music that I already have.

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>> I would never risk losing my purchases and having to re buy music that I already have

Which is why the RIAA hates it. Their model has been: Sell you music on LP, resell you same music on 8-track, re-sell you same music on cassette, resell you same music on CD, resell you same music as DRM'd files that won't be portable and will eventually be useless when company running authorization server goes out of business, resell you music as monthly subscription service...

I'm amazed that we ever got any decent support for non-DRM'd files. But now that we have, the RIAA thinks someone should pay them again for every piece of hardware they touch. Greedy bastards.

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"backing up my files to any other cloud based service"

and no one says it's legal for them to host those host files and then make them available for you through streaming. We'll see who is in the right when things go to court.

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I hope the music industry completely collapses to one day become an industry where the artists make the majority of the money.

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It's all a moot point to me. I have my huge database of music backed up into five places. Three of them can serve that music over my network, and one can broadcast it across FM signals too.                (I have a 300Ft. circular range and my neighbors just love it)

One backup is in a fireproof safe.

I don't buy too many CD's brand new anymore. But I do go and buy them used at Flea Markets, Garage Sales, and Swap Meets all of the time. I get them cheap, and the record industry doesn't get paid more than once for it either. The quality of the music is fine with me. Someone did buy it new at one time, and the artists made their money according to their contracts that they signed with the industry, who made a fair profit at the time.

Pay them again?,.........................Oh Hell No!.

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Sounds like we're in for another battle with regards to music rights. *groan*

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I sense another 75trillion dollar deal coming along xD lol.

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I just have to make another comment on this one. Would you all agree that the RIAA is killing the music industry slowly? We need a better way to pay the artists directly they are the ones doing the hard job not the music executives. I would so like to see Amazon stick it to them and beat them in court. The 500 lb gorilla needs to be suffocated.

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Screw the music industry (RIAA) they are asinine at the least. They rip off more artists than anything else ever does in the first place. The only money missing out of anyone's pocket is pocket lint to them in general. Come on when will they realize there is nothing they can do in all reality. When they introduce a medium that plays in containment then they will be able to control it. Until they figure out how to do that, and talk the public into buying the players as a player is basically no longer needed either nor a place to sell it (which is by default now the internet), there is nothing they can do. That will never happen so they better figure out what they want to do to distribute music and price it fairly or they will loose there entire empire, and all musicians will end up self distributing by themselves or through private groups (that do not require them).

I apologize but I was involved in, but for much of my young life I was involved in underground music. I did productions (performance organization, advertising, production of shows etc. for indie bands and electronic music/underground music and performers) This was professional but it was not a profession if you get me. I did it because I loved the music, I loved the crowd, the artists and everything else. The music "Industry" of yesteryear is no longer needed in todays reality. I hope they die they do nothing but inhibit music anyway.

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The music industry should get nothing from this. As said before, this is off-site cloud based storage, much the same as Drop Box.

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If the music industry is unhappy, this means that amazon is doing the right thing and people are happy..screw the industry

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^well said.

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They hate it because they don't understand it. It's much too complicated for their small brains.

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