Amazon's Cloud Drive faces music industry backlash

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 93
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 93
    Then there's this:



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



    in the agreement you click through.
  • Reply 3 of 93
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    My home computer with 1.2TB of music is my 'cloud locker'.



    Audiogalaxy. Done.
  • Reply 4 of 93
    Yep, when companies do this they immediately put themselves at a disadvantage. Very sloppy on the part of Amazon.
  • Reply 5 of 93
    Don't give 2 cents what the music industry thinks. They can rot. In this case, goooo Amazon.
  • Reply 6 of 93
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 93
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 93
    eroslwseroslws Posts: 21member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 93
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 93
    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
  • Reply 11 of 93
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 93
    tswonetswone Posts: 6member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 93
    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

  • Reply 14 of 93
    tswonetswone Posts: 6member
    Why are you so mad Amazon came out with this stream service?? It's good, give it a try.
  • Reply 15 of 93
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,016member
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 93
    wgb113wgb113 Posts: 22member
    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
  • Reply 17 of 93
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 93
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 93
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 93
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    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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