Amazon tells record labels to back off, Cloud Drive licensing not necessary

Record labels seem to have a hard time understanding one, simple truth: after a consumer purchases a song — be it on a CD or digitally — the consumer owns that file. Period. It is, however, nice to know that at least one large corporation respects that fact, Amazon. In a letter penned to music labels, the online retail giant stated that its new Cloud Drive music service has boosted digital MP3 sales and goes on to explain why it does not need permission from record labels for its use. “There has been speculation that we are looking for licenses for Cloud Drive and Cloud Player,” reads the e-mail. “We are not looking for licenses for Cloud Drive or Cloud Player as they exist today — as no licensees are required.” Amazon continues, “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.” The company did mention that further improvements may require licensing, and that record labels can “expect to hear more” from Amazon on potential licensing “in the near future.” David Israeite of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) called the move “troubling,” and added that Amazon was not creating “an environment of trust and cooperation.”

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