Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

Summary: Amazon's Cloud Drive beat Apple and Google to the punch and now the music industry is whining about lawsuits. Amazon is defiant. And the potential spat boils down to this: Are Amazon's Cloud Drive and Player about storage or streaming music?

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Amazon's Cloud Drive and Cloud Player beat Apple and Google to the punch and now the music industry is whining about lawsuits. Amazon is defiant. And the potential spat boils down to this: Are Amazon's Cloud Drive and Player about storage or streaming music?

As I played with Cloud Drive---I still don't quite get why storing content I bought requires a permission slip from the music industry to use Cloud Player---one screen stuck out repeatedly. It's this one:

It's obvious that you can upload documents, music, pictures and video. If I stream pictures do I need the recording industry's permission for that too?

That screen boils down Amazon's defense in a nutshell: Cloud Drive and Cloud Player are storage tools. People happen to own music. They happen to listen to that music.

The recording industry will argue that Amazon launched an unlicensed streaming music service. The problem with the recording industry is that Amazon isn't some college kid that can be sued to oblivion. Amazon has fancy lawyers too.

You're going to hear posturing from both sides and Amazon has hedged its bets well. Notice the CYA involved here in Jeff Bezos' letter to customers:

Dear Customers,

Managing a digital music collection is a bit of a mess. it's possible to buy music from your phone, but then it might get stuck there. It's possible to buy music from your work computer, but then you have to remember to transfer it to your home computer. Most people just wait until they get home and do their purchasing from there. What's more, if you're not regularly backing up your music collection, you lose it in a disk drive crash.

Clearly, Amazon's cloud Drive and Player are a streaming music issue. Busted!

Then the hedge comes:

We're solving those problems with two important new offerings: Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player. Cloud Drive is your personal disk drive in the cloud. Anything you put in Cloud Drive is robustly stored in Amazon's datacenters. You can upload your music collection to Cloud Drive, as well as any other digital documents.

It's that "other digital documents" part that potentially expands the Cloud Drive and Player beyond the music industry's reach. Cloud Player only needs a Web browser---another key point. You can argue that the Cloud Player is just a vehicle to access your stuff.

Ultimately a judge somewhere will decide, but unless there's some injunction---a tough case to make for a "locker"---Amazon's Cloud Drive and Player aren't going anywhere.

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Topics: Amazon, Hardware, Mobility

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50 comments
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  • Amazon position is not tenable

    Cloud drive is not a storage service as far as music is concerned. Let me explain.
    Operating from europe i was able to sign into the free 5GB service. I generated and uploaded two music file after having read that only mp3 and aac were supported, which seemed strange to me as, as you depict, the service clearly present storage capability with document folder. As said I generated an mp3 and ogg file of the same 440Hz track and uploaded without problem to the Music folder.

    Things ere not so clean when I clicked on two file: when clicking the ogg file, chrome took over and started playing my awful sound; when I clicked on the mp3 file thought, I went to a message screen informing me that the service is limited to US customers only.

    This means that in Amazon mind, the service is not storage as far as music is concerned, but a music streaming service, subject to IP contractual considerations.
    s_souche
    • Video does not seem to be restricted

      @s_souche I was able to upload and play an mp4 file without a similar restriction....
      s_souche
    • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

      @s_souche Or it means some features are being tested in the US.
      slickjim
    • Apple's MobileMe has offered media file storage for more than a year

      @s_souche.. you can put movies and songs up there and play them from any iOS device.. there is no web player app though.. you can also share with others.. password protect etc..
      doctorSpoc
      • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

        @doctorSpoc then Apple has done a terrible job in spreading the word about it.
        nomorebs
    • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

      @s_souche No, it means Amazon wants to iron out the bugs in the US before they go global... and enter into that large can of worms where every worm has a different complaint.
      RDrrr
    • Streaming from Europe

      @s_souche I've uploaded 3Gb of MP3 and can stream them fine. I'm in Europe and have tried on 3 different ISP's and they all seem to stream just fine. Maybe it's just a first launch glitch which they will fix later and block me, but for now I'm going to enjoy my songs via the browser :-)
      aliball68
    • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

      @s_souche actually this proves nothing. There are many companies that restrict usage by country; whether it be the USA, or European companies.<br><br>And how many people would be foolish enough to share their Amazon username and password (where their payment info is and where every time you log in, or anyone else logs in, you/they are you! They could spend your money as easily as you if they pretend to be you.)
      LilBambi_z
  • What a load of BS

    it's one thing to have a streaming music service where the end user doesn't own the misic that is streaming, but in this case the users [i]purchased[/i] the music.
    How is this any more different then putting a purchased CD in a computer and streaming the music someplace else, maybe another computer or a surround sound system?
    John Zern
    • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

      @John Zern

      I was thinking that exact same thing. I stream content from my PC to my TV upstairs. Does it really matter if it's off my personal hard drive or cloud drive over the internet. As long as it's not streaming to everyone and anyone the music industry has no say.
      voska1
    • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

      @John Zern

      It isn't. But that's *probably* illegal, at leat in the RIAA's mind.

      Recall mp3.com in its original implementation. It sounds a lot like this.
      x I'm tc
      • Yup

        @jdakula In the deranged mind of an RIAA executive you would *literally* need to purchase a CD for *every* room the house. Their greed is boundless.
        MSFTWorshipper
    • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

      @John Zern

      Because, that is not how it has been licensed for use. Now you may not like the license and you may think it's very unfair but in that case you need to talk to your elected reps. to change the laws.
      NoAxToGrind
      • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

        @NoAxToGrind <br><br>B.S. I own the audio files (not the music rights)... if I want to stream my property to myself planetwide then I will. I just put some NAS on my home net and hook my app to it wherever I am. My data file, my data, my connection, my use. Nothing illegal about it... no license required to transmit my data to myself. Until they pass a law that says I can't stream my data to myself, I will. First I need to go purchase an NAS, or subscribe to an online locker and move (not copy) my data there... hmmm. The RIAA, et al, do not own the 'net... they can't say how it can be used. They only have copyrights... and I'm not copying. They won't succeed in banning online storage/access of files, regardless of whether the data is musical or not. I'm not streaming to others, I am consuming my own data... that's what it is purchased for.
        RDrrr
      • You don't need a license

        @NoAxToGrind

        Not one of my CDs has a license yet I ripped them all to my hard drive.

        Now if you mean legally downloaded music, that's why I buy CDs. No restrictions. Though I pretty much ignore what licenses say anyways, it's all greek to me. Too long and filled with mubo jumbo that doesn't make sense, not worth my time. I'll use my content as I see fit with in the realms fo copyright law. That's the best I can do with out hiring a lawyer every time I buy online music.
        voska1
    • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

      @John Zern

      I think the difference is who has control of the original purchased item. If you stream from your own device to another of your own devices, you have control. Once you upload your music to a system that then streams to you, they have control over the music, not you.
      msalzberg
      • Make it your own

        @msalzberg Easily solved by charging a nominal fee for the storage that today is "free." Then it isn't "their" storage anymore; you rented it, same as if you'd gotten your PC from Rent-to-Own.
        Robert Hahn
      • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

        @Robert Hahn You are losing your time. msalzberg is simply pissed off that Amazon beat Apple (or that at least the title says so).
        nomorebs
  • RE: Amazon debuts Cloud Drive, music industry whines: The screen that will end up in court

    The music industry hates it because they know that they might just lose big contracts for streaming if this doesn't disappear but it is no different than say drop box and if Amazon were to create a client that would sync over wifi then this suit would fade fast.
    slickjim
  • I'm wondering if

    M$ has a hand in this RIAA nonsense.
    it might be envy that M$ does not have a service like amazon's.
    Linux Geek