Amazon launches a cloud storing and playing system… and starts a legal turmoil

Amazon, in tone with the “cloud”, has launched last March 29th the Amazon Cloud Player, coupled with the Amazon Cloud Drive. Users can store files for free up to 5Gb of memory in Amazon’s cloud. This data can be either songs, documents, videos or any other file they wish to upload.

The purist have objected that this is not a 100% cloud service, but an accessible virtual drive with uploaded files you already own. The problem in this situation is that a pure cloud service would make those files available on any platform, not only the Amazon one. Moreover, multiple platforms require users to long uploads on each system.

The main question to ask is if Amazon must pay for licenses to record labels in relation to the music stored in the Amazon Cloud. One side will say that as long as it’s a storing device for files you’ve already purchased, Amazon should not be paying for any licences. On the other hand, it has been said that some record labels would be seeking Amazon to pay for the actual licences (as EMI with MP3Tunes).

Sony Music decided to keep their “legal options open” regarding the “unlicensed” locker service by Amazon, hoping that they will resolve the situation by agreeing with a licence.

Links and beyond

http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20110329/amazons-cloud-service-is-a-legal-b-illegal-c-probably-here-to-stay/

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/Pantallas/servicio/Amazon/subleva/discograficas/elpepirtv/20110331elpepirtv_1/Tes

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110329/02085613669/amazon-launches-digital-music-locker-even-as-legality-is-still-question.shtml

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/03/music-labels-lash-out-at-amazons-cloud-service.html

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