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Amazon's Cloud Drive faces music industry backlash

post #1 of 94
Thread Starter 
While ostensibly beating Apple and Google to market with its music locker service, Amazon's new Cloud Drive online music streaming service was launched before licenses from music owners were in place, threatening a new legal battle.

According to a report by Reuters, Sony Music spokeswoman Liz Young said her company "was upset by Amazon's decision to launch the service without new licenses for music streaming."

"We hope that they'll reach a new license deal, but we're keeping all of our legal options open," Young said.

Sold before the deal was struck

The report cited a source "close to the discussions" between Amazon and the music labels as saying that "music labels were alerted of the plans last week," and that Amazon only addressed "the issue of negotiating licenses" after the fact.

Amazon's move was described as "somewhat stunning," leaving some media industry members to view the service as illegal.

"I've never seen a company of their size make an announcement, launch a service and simultaneously say they're trying to get licenses," the source said, who was described as a music executive requesting anonymity.

Amazon appears to have jumped the gun in a bid to get ahead of Apple. While Amazon entered the music download market in late 2007, offering both slightly lower prices on MP3s and bargaining with the labels to offer DRM-free music before Apple, its music service still hasn't significantly encroached upon Apple's dominant position with iTunes.

Online storage held up by music negotiations

Amazon's Cloud Drive provides users with 5GB of free storage (or 20GB for $20 annually) that can be used to upload music for playback via an Android app or through Amazon's Cloud Play website, which organizes music into playlists.

Since last July, Apple's iDisk feature of MobileMe has similarly enabled users to upload their music (and other files) to the cloud for streaming playback (even in the background) from mobile devices via Apple's free iOS iDisk app, but the company doesn't promote the feature due to ongoing negotiations with the labels.

iDisk is also not depicted as a music cloud service, and does not provide any special display of metadata; music files simply play in place from the online storage just as they would from any web server. Music files can also, like other iDisk documents, be shared with other users.




Music labels have long insisted on special "streaming licensing" for users that want to copy their own music to the cloud for their own mobile playback, something that has held up efforts by Apple, Google, and others to deliver legally legitimate cloud music services.
post #2 of 94
First Google ripping off Java, and now Amazon not bothering to get license clearances, it appears Apple is driving these companies to do anything possible, whether legal or not, to compete.
post #3 of 94
Then there's this:

Look at section 5.2 here: http://j.mp/gV25Re

in the agreement you click through.
post #4 of 94
My home computer with 1.2TB of music is my 'cloud locker'.

Audiogalaxy. Done.
post #5 of 94
Yep, when companies do this they immediately put themselves at a disadvantage. Very sloppy on the part of Amazon.
post #6 of 94
Don't give 2 cents what the music industry thinks. They can rot. In this case, goooo Amazon.
post #7 of 94
Amazon has taken quite a risk. I am eager to hear what they have to say, and if they will have to pull the service.
post #8 of 94
Or Amazon is crazy like a fox.

They have announced the service that a large population apparently wants. Which given wireless data caps and ludicrous prices, I can't figure out, but I digress.

So, now, if they have to get rid of it the blame will fall squarely on the music company's shoulders. As if the music companies need any more bad PR.

Of course, this could completely backfire on Amazon and the record companies could decide to give Apple streaming rights and not give them to Amazon. Much as the record companies have given Amazon preferential treatment in pricing and terms because they were upset with Apple.

I just keep wondering how long it is going to be before Apple and Amazon and Google follow Netflix's example and start cutting out the middle men.
post #9 of 94
legitimate - recognized as lawful
legally - lawfully

Double positives are redundant and make you sound like you're whining. I guess that's what I get for reading a blog though.

Either way, Apple or Amazon or Google, I don't trust a company having access to my library of digital copies of CD's I own. Remember, civil cases are not set to the same standard as criminal cases in prosecuting individuals; you can't prove anyone pirated music based solely on IP addresses but you can very easily win a civil suit.
post #10 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

Then there's this:

Look at section 5.2 here: htt-----------Re

in the agreement you click through.

Let's see, generic name and a number, 3 posts made, some generic wording that COULD be related to the discussion, and a moronic looking url.

Undoubtedly this link leads to a virus. Don't click on it.
post #11 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Let's see, generic name and a number, 3 posts made, some generic wording that COULD be related to the discussion, and a moronic looking url.

Undoubtedly this link leads to a virus. Don't click on it.

It's just a link shortening service! Here's the full link for those suspicious types

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...deId=200557360
post #12 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

First Google ripping off Java, and now Amazon not bothering to get license clearances, it appears Apple is driving these companies to do anything possible, whether legal or not, to compete.

That is exactly what I was thinking. Well said.
post #13 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Let's see, generic name and a number, 3 posts made, some generic wording that COULD be related to the discussion, and a moronic looking url.

Undoubtedly this link leads to a virus. Don't click on it.

but it is a good link.
post #14 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Let's see, generic name and a number, 3 posts made, some generic wording that COULD be related to the discussion, and a moronic looking url.

Undoubtedly this link leads to a virus. Don't click on it.

Only it doesn't lead to a virus, it leads to Amazon's T&C's.

1) Open Terminal
2) curl http://j.mp/gV25Re
3) See that it's not a virus
post #15 of 94
Why are you so mad Amazon came out with this stream service?? It's good, give it a try.
post #16 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

Then there's this:

Look at section 5.2 here: http://j.mp/gV25Re

in the agreement you click through.

Relevant how?
post #17 of 94
They clearly wanted to beat Apple to the punch but it may well backfire on them if enough people at the labels are pissed.

I hope Apple takes the approach of the cloud locker being unlimited by file type. To limit it to music would suck and to limit it to iTunes purchases would suck even more as I still buy 100% of my music on CD.

Bill
post #18 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Let's see, generic name and a number, 3 posts made, some generic wording that COULD be related to the discussion, and a moronic looking url.

Undoubtedly this link leads to a virus. Don't click on it.

Sorry that I don't post all the time here, i didn't know that was a requirement of joining a discussion. As for the moronic URL, I will try not to shorten them in the future so that the more suspicious won't get, well, too suspicious. Here's the text of the amazon agreement that I was referring to in the post:

5.2 Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.
post #19 of 94
There will probably be backlash but there shouldn't be, because, quite frankly, this kind of service shouldn't need a license. The users own the music they're uploading, why the heck should the users pay again? If the users don't have to pay, Amazon shouldn't have to pay either, they're just providing a tool to play users' own music.
post #20 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by wgb113 View Post

They clearly wanted to beat Apple to the punch but it may well backfire on them if enough people at the labels are pissed.

I hope Apple takes the approach of the cloud locker being unlimited by file type. To limit it to music would suck and to limit it to iTunes purchases would suck even more as I still buy 100% of my music on CD.

Bill

they absolutely would not limit it to iTunes purchases. Anything you've imported into iTunes will be included. In his open letter against DRM, Steve Jobs pointed to the fact that the vast majority of users' Libraries is from non-DRM sources (ie, CDs or file-sharing). They wouldn't alienate customers by blocking what can be streamed.
post #21 of 94
This is reminiscent of the launch of GoogleTV, with the hardware/service running ahead of actually securing the rights to content.

I wonder what this kind of stuff on the part of (arguably) Apple's two biggest online content competitors is going to do to big media's perceptions of Apple as the enemy?

They've been pretty vocal about feeling jacked up by iTunes and not wanting to see the same thing happen to movies and TV, going so far as to cut exclusive deals with rivals, just to spread the power around.

But Apple is pretty scrupulous about rights, and provides an orderly and fully legal way to access content online. If the other guys are going to take to just unilaterally flinging stuff out there, Apple might start looking like the better option.
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post #22 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Relevant how?

I don't want to grant Amazon the right to view my files for "or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law."

How do they determine what is "necessary to provide the service"?

Maybe it's just me being too suspicious ?\
post #23 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by tswone View Post

Why are you so mad Amazon came out with this stream service?? It's good, give it a try.

Amazon hasn't had anything "good" for years, I highly doubt they will start now.

If it's like their other stuff, it's:

- confusing
- full of ads
- requires Adobe something or other
- has an ugly UI (probably using a lot of brown, orange, and cobalt)
- works with nothing else but their stuff.
- ties you to other services they offer

I would bet money on all of the above being true without knowing anything about Cloud Music or even trying it.

Amazon is the last place I would go to even look for a book, let alone any of their extended products.
post #24 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

Then there's this:

Look at section 5.2 here: http://j.mp/gV25Re

in the agreement you click through.

It reads like a typical enduser agreement, kind of like ones from Apple.
post #25 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

I don't want to grant Amazon the right to view my files for "or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law."

How do they determine what is "necessary to provide the service"?

Maybe it's just me being too suspicious ?\

Don't know. There are broadly similar terms in the mobile me TOS:

Access to Your Account and Content

You acknowledge and agree that Apple may access, use, preserve and/or disclose your account information and Content if legally required to do so or if we have a good faith belief that such access, use, disclosure, or preservation is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process or request; (b) enforce these TOS, including investigation of any potential violation thereof; (c) detect, prevent or otherwise address security, fraud or technical issues; or (d) protect the rights, property or safety of Apple, its users or the public as required or pemitted by law.

Seems almost boilerplate stuff to me.
post #26 of 94
http://www.mp3tunes.com/

have provided this service for years, without license agreements with music labels.
post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Let's see, generic name and a number, 3 posts made, some generic wording that COULD be related to the discussion, and a moronic looking url.

Undoubtedly this link leads to a virus. Don't click on it.

No, it's ok.
post #28 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by tswone View Post

Why are you so mad Amazon came out with this stream service?? It's good, give it a try.

No one here is mad about this service. The article brings up legitimate issues. These issues are being discussed all over the net and everywhere else.

What Amazon is doing may be a serious violation of licensing agreements. While some don't care about that because they think they have the right to other people's IP, it is a big issue, and Amazon could get slapped down for it.
post #29 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

Sorry that I don't post all the time here, i didn't know that was a requirement of joining a discussion. As for the moronic URL, I will try not to shorten them in the future so that the more suspicious won't get, well, too suspicious. Here's the text of the amazon agreement that I was referring to in the post:

5.2 Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.

This is a standard part of any agreement of this type.
post #30 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This is a standard part of any agreement of this type.

I guess I am too suspicious then.
post #31 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I've never seen a company of their size make an announcement, launch a service and simultaneously say they're trying to get licenses," the source said, who was described as a music executive requesting anonymity.



Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Let's see, generic name and a number, 3 posts made, some generic wording that COULD be related to the discussion, and a moronic looking url.

Undoubtedly this link leads to a virus. Don't click on it.

You tinfoil hat may have fallen off. Better hide under your desk out of sight of the black helicopters until you can get that fixed.

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post #32 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

I guess I am too suspicious then.

No, I wouldn't say that. Most people never bother to read these agreements, and are then surprised when they find out later what they say. So if you're not familiar with them, and see that, you could be alarmed. But it's there to fulfill legal requirements.
post #33 of 94
Wait a minute, the music grand pubas want a special license (Read more money) for me to save my Amazon purchased music on a cloud disc and play same via an Android app or browser. Since I have already purchased the item, what gives Sony et al, the right to tell me how I save and access the item? I applaud Amazon for ignoring the music industry's desire to extract more money from me and/or decide how I may store and use such items once purchased. I hope Apple and others follow suit.
post #34 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No one here is mad about this service. The article brings up legitimate issues. These issues are being discussed all over the net and everywhere else.

What Amazon is doing may be a serious violation of licensing agreements. While some don't care about that because they think they have the right to other people's IP, it is a big issue, and Amazon could get slapped down for it.

That's the problem with music licensing (and licensing in general). Not only the 'what' is defined, but the 'how' can defind so narrowly so as to make one thing lie within the agreement (such as storage on your hard disk), and another not so (like storage offsite or in the 'cloud' as you will). A license is really only a contract between parties so there's no limit to how small the record company can slice the delivery of audio to your ears.

Amazon is creating some value add here by providing a player but what if they took that capability away? Does that overcome any limitations in the license? I don't know, FWIW, I haven't read them/it.
post #35 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbsteph View Post

Wait a minute, the music grand pubas want a special license (Read more money) for me to save my Amazon purchased music on a cloud disc and play same via an Android app or browser. Since I have already purchased the item, what gives Sony et al, the right to tell me how I save and access the item? I applaud Amazon for ignoring the music industry's desire to extract more money from me and/or decide how I may store and use such items once purchased. I hope Apple and others follow suit.

Ask yourself - what exactly did you 'buy'?
post #36 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

Then there's this:

Look at section 5.2 here: http://j.mp/gV25Re

in the agreement you click through.

Don't see the issue with that. Pretty generic, and acceptable terms, IMO.

They are asking for access to files to fix problems, and in case they are legally required to do so.
post #37 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

There will probably be backlash but there shouldn't be, because, quite frankly, this kind of service shouldn't need a license. The users own the music they're uploading, why the heck should the users pay again? If the users don't have to pay, Amazon shouldn't have to pay either, they're just providing a tool to play users' own music.

It shouldn't, but the fact is, it does. Most of the rumors here have referenced the inability to gain these licenses as being the precise reason why Apple has been struggling to do its cloud service.

I am extremely surprised Amazon did this. Most of the music labels gave them extremely favorable terms when they started their Music store (remember, they were the only ones allowed to distribute music DRM free. Apple had to agree to variable pricing to convince labels to do that). Whether illegal or not, this certainly will risk their relationship, and might jeopardize the Amazon MP3 store in the future.
post #38 of 94
I saw this coming. Considering the hassle Apple had just to get permission to increase the preview-length of music samples, I was wondering how Amazon was able to pull-off cloud-based music streaming before Apple.

Just reaffirms my belief that Apple has its ducks in a row (usually) when coming out with a new service that involves the music industry.

I'm really interested to see how Amazon is going to get this one ironed out.
post #39 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

they absolutely would not limit it to iTunes purchases. Anything you've imported into iTunes will be included. In his open letter against DRM, Steve Jobs pointed to the fact that the vast majority of users' Libraries is from non-DRM sources (ie, CDs or file-sharing). They wouldn't alienate customers by blocking what can be streamed.

They might have to, in order to get the labels to allow them to stream music.
post #40 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by aderutter View Post

http://www.mp3tunes.com/

have provided this service for years, without license agreements with music labels.

And there has been a lawsuit against them for years which is still ongoing. You should have mentioned that as well.

They are trying to get it dismissed. It's considered at best a 50/50 chance.

http://www.ipodnn.com/articles/10/11...le.and.google/
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