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RIAA Shaped Storm Clouds On Amazon's Horizon

Posted by: , 16:32 AEDT, Thu March 31, 2011

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Amazon has come under attack by the record industry for allowing their customers to store the legally purchased music online, in the cloud, for playback on their mobile devices

Amazon has just launched their cloud storage service, Cloud Drive, offering users 5GB of storage for free, to store their digital documents in the cloud for peace of mind. And as part of the launch, Amazon also launched Cloud Player for Android, which allows android devices to play songs uploaded to the Amazon cloud.

But the major record labels have come out attacking Amazon for not gaining their permission first for deploying such a service.

The labels are concerned that people will use the cloud service to stream pirated songs, and have made it clear that their present licensing prohibits such services from being used, even if all people are doing is streaming their own legally purchased music. A Sony Music Entertainment representative was quoted as saying, "We are disappointed that the locker service that Amazon is proposing is unlicensed by Sony Music."

The labels also say that Amazon should have negotiated licensing with them before launching the service, something Amazon had attempted to do before the launch, but then decided to go ahead anyway.

This isn't the first time the music industry has attacked cloud music service, with EMI previously accusing of encouraging copyright violations for simply offering users the ability to manage their purchased music online. Michael Robertson, founder of, accused the record industry of trying to charge people a fee to access for songs they've already purchased. Results from a lawsuit launched by EMI is currently pending.

Amazon has dismissed concerns from the music industry by saying that their service functions no differently than an "external hard drive".

Do you think the record industry should concentrate more on taking advantage of the cloud revolution, as opposed to trying to lock it down? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread:


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