Amazon Insists No Licenses Needed For Cloud Player, Google Thinking Of Skipping Licenses As Well
from the floodgates,-openning dept
When Amazon launched its cloud music streaming service a few weeks ago, the big question concerned whether or not it needed licenses to do so. It certainly did not have them. And there’s a strong argument that it doesn’t need them. After all, it was just letting people take music files they already had, and allowing them to store and stream them from the internet. Why should it require an extra license to let people listen to music they already have? However, we did worry that Amazon would simply cave in, rather than fight, as it wanted to remain on good terms with the record labels.
Perhaps that’s not the case, however. Amazon has sent a letter to the record labels, once again reiterating that it does not believe it needs licenses. On top of that, it points out that, so far, the Cloud Drive appears to be driving more sales of MP3s.
Cloud Drive is a general online storage service for all digital files, not unlike Google Docs, Microsoft SkyDrive and any number of other internet file back-up services. It?s your external hard-drive in the cloud. It requires a license from content owners no more than those other internet file back-up services do and no more than makers of external hard drives for PCs do.
Cloud Player is a media management and play-back application not unlike Windows Media Player and any number of other media management applications that let customers manage and play their music. It requires a license from content owners no more than those applications do.
It really is that simple.
Nice to see Amazon taking a stand here. Hopefully it keeps up.
At the same time, it appears that Google may be inspired by Amazon’s decision here to stand up against the idea that licenses are needed for digital lockers. While it had been trying to negotiate licenses, rumors are coming out that it’s fed up with ridiculous demands from the labels and ready to follow Amazon’s lead in just offering up the service without any licenses.
Not surprisingly, the report names Warner Music as being the party that has been the worst to deal with in these negotiations. That fits with what we’ve heard from other negotiations, where Warner Music puts absolutely ridiculous deal terms on the table and refuses to budge. It would be nice if Google follows Amazon’s lead and calls the labels’ bluff on the idea that licenses are needed for this kind of service.