In case you missed the news, last night Amazon gave us a little surprise by launching its free Cloud Player service, which lets you stream your music collection from the cloud to your computer or Android device. While this has no doubt put a smile on many faces (American ones only, for now), Sony Music isn’t too happy about Amazon jumping the gun over licensing for streaming rights. The record label told Reuters that it’s hoping Amazon “will reach a new license deal, but we’re keeping all of our legal options open.” Yikes. In retaliation, Amazon responded with the following statement to Ars Tehcnica:
“Cloud Player is an application that lets customers manage and play their own music. It’s like any number of existing media management applications. We do not need a license to make Cloud Player available. The functionality of saving MP3s to Cloud Drive is the same as if a customer were to save their music to an external hard drive or even iTunes.”
Of course, the bigger story here is that Amazon’s free Cloud Player is going head-to-head with Sony’s Music Unlimited streaming subscription service, which was pushed out last month after plenty of money talk with various record labels. Understandably, Sony isn’t willing to let Amazon cut through the red tape here without a fight, and this may also affect similar music locker services like mSpot and MP3Tunes, albeit at a much smaller scale. In fact, Sony’s already expressed its discomfort with those particular companies’ mode of operation, so you can probably expect to see this tension boiling over to some form of legal action before long. Now that a big shot like Amazon’s involved, it’s almost inevitable.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]