Predictably, Amazon’s new Cloud Player and Cloud Drive online file storage services are not being well-received by music industry representatives.
Last week, Amazon executives received a letter from National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) Attorney Jay Rosenthal outlining the organization’s concerns, including privacy safeguards and, of course, the lack of licensing and antipiracy measures.
“It is extremely troubling that they would launch this without having discussion with copyright holders so we can discuss whether a license is needed,” NMPA president David M. Israeite told Billboard. He added that the way Amazon has gone about launching their Cloud storage and media services “doesn’t create an environment of trust and cooperation.”
But it didn’t take long for Amazon officials to retort by pointing out that the launch of Cloud player has actually increased the sales of MP3s on their web store. They also explained at length in their letter to music labels why licensing should not be necessary at this time:
“Cloud Drive is a general online storage service for all digital files, not unlike Google Docs, Microsoft SkyDrive and any number of other internet file back-up services. It’s your external hard-drive in the cloud. It requires a license from content owners no more than those other internet file back-up services do and no more than makers of external hard drives for PCs do.”
“Cloud Player is a media management and play-back application not unlike Windows Media Player and any number of other media management applications that let customers manage and play their music. It requires a license from content owners no more than those applications do.”
“It really is that simple.”
Amazon did, however, add that they might be looking at improving their services at some point by centralizing multiple uploads of the same song into a single file to help save space on their servers. “Expect to hear more from us on potential licensing in the near future,” the letter stated.
By the tone of the NMPA’s letter you have to wonder if they’re contemplating a lawsuit over the Cloud services. But Amazon isn’t one of the little guys, and they definitely have the resources to fight this kind of legal battle if necessary.
The music industry may have finally met their match.