Cloudy Copyright Forecast for New Amazon Music Service

May 2011

Andrew Goldberg Corporate Counsel

Amazon’s push to beat Google and Apple to the punch in unveiling its new “music locker” service this week could cause the company to face a combination of new copyright challenges.
The e-commerce giant’s new cloud-based music service known as Cloud Drive, which lets users store the songs they purchase on Amazon’s servers and play them from almost anywhere, is certainly convenient. The problem is that it might not be entirely legal under copyright law, according to some… at issue is whether a service that offers consumers access to music via the cloud must first acquire licenses from the music labels that control the copyrights on that music. Amazon says that it doesn’t need a license.

The copyright issue presented is one of first impression for the courts, and the debate will remain unsettled at least untilEMI and Others v MP3tunes LLC and Michael Robertso is resolved. In that case, which is pending in the Southern District of New York, various record labels and music publishers sued MP3tunes, alleging–among other things–that MP3tunes is directly liable for copyright infringement for allowing users to publicly perform, reproduce, and distribute their copyrighted works

Read more at and and (MP3tunes complaint)

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