Amazon Launches Digital Music Locker, Even As Legality Is Still In Question

from the did-they-obtain-licenses? dept

Well, this could get interesting. While there are already a few digital music lockers on the market -- including services like MP3Tunes and MeCanto -- there's been plenty of talk over the past few months about the "big players" entering the market. Most of the focus has been on both Apple (which bought and shut down the music locker service Lala) and Google, but Amazon beat both companies to the starting line and launched its service a few hours ago.

The question that's most interesting to me is whether or not it's paying for licenses, and at this point, it's unclear. We've seen, for example, that the record labels are not happy about these services, with EMI in a legal fight with MP3Tunes. On top of that record labels are demanding additional fees and licenses, even though these lockers only allow people to store and stream music they already have. Whether or not Amazon paid any licenses is unclear. The News.com article linked above says "as of last week the online retailer giant had not obtained all the necessary licenses, but that Amazon might announce the service before all the negotiations were complete."

But here's my question: what necessary licenses? Why should anyone else have to pay a license to let me store and stream my own music? Update: Hypebot has more, saying that Amazon doesn't believe it needs licenses, and some of the labels (but not all) are upset. Specifically, Warner Music is pissed and is contemplating legal action, but other labels aren't quite as upset.

As for Amazon's actual service, I have no idea if it's compelling, but I will say it's rather silly and pointless that they're making me reupload music. I already have an Amazon S3 account which (among other things) I use to backup all of my (yes, legal and authorized) music. What would be great is if I could just point this new Amazon Cloud Player at my existing music that is already stored on Amazon's servers, and then stream it from there. But that does not appear to be an option. Instead, I would need to reload all of it (and since I have a lot more than 5 gigs of music, I'd have to pay multiple times for it. And, with anyone else launching a similar service, I'd probably have to upload it again and again.

Let's be honest here: that's not really a cloud service. A true cloud service would let me store my music wherever I wanted, and then point whatever streaming player I wanted at it... But, of course, I'm sure the record labels would want another bunch of licenses paid up in full before anything like that is ever allowed.

Filed Under: cloud, digital lockers, music, streaming
Companies: amazon, apple, google, mp3tunes


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 29 Mar 2011 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Re:

    I think the rationale of copyright supporters is that it's ok to "share", as long as there is a loser, meaning, it's ok that you lend (and, therefore, lose access to your copy) your CDs or books to friends and family, but it is not ok if you make copies for them.

    No offense, but if this is their rationale, it's a completely laughable one.

    Long before the creation of the Internet, fans of music were making "mix tapes" for each other. This was not a situation where the original consumer loses access to their copy.

    And, of course, it was attacked by the record industry as vehemently as possible. But when all the dust had settled, the music industry eventually realized that making mixtapes helped music sales.

    Who knows if they will decide that this time around (or even have the chance to before they fold). But strictly speaking, your opinion doesn't hold water.

    Obviously, you're a freetard that supports piracy. LOL!

    (not pictured: sarc marks)

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.