Amazon Email Tells Labels Cloud Launch “Boosted MP3 Sales”, “Not Looking For Licenses”
(UPDATED) In a letter obtained by Hypebot and sent by Amazon to record labels this week, the internet giant says that customers have "embraced" their controversial new cloud music locker and player. While offering no stats, Amazon told labels that by, "removing the friction associated with managing your personal music files, our launch of Cloud Player has boosted Amazon MP3 sales." Higher sales may be small consolation to to some label execs who have publicly questioned the legality of Amazon's Cloud.
Amazon answered its critics in the same letter by offering comparisons to other back-up services and media playback applications to explain why they believe they don't need licenses:
"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."
Thus far, no labels or publishers have filed a lawsuit against Amazon. So despite public complaining, perhaps they privately agree.
Amazon may, however, may look for licences to expand the service in the future:
"There are.. potential enhancements to Cloud Drive and Cloud Player that would require licenses and that we are interested in – like the ability to replace multiple copies of the same music track uploaded by different customers with a single server copy that could be used for all customers with the same track."
"Expect to hear more from us on potential licensing in the near future," Amazon told the labels. Google and Apple will be calling as well.
READ: Full Text Of Amazon's Cloud Music Email To Labels
MORE: Amazon Beats Apple, Google With Launch Of Unlicensed Cloud Music Locker & Player
I like the last bit about how perhaps the labels privately agree, but I would add that perhaps they are finally learning from history too.
Anything that makes it easy to buy and consume music will boost sales. Glad to see record companies and publishers are finally coming around on this…
Anything that makes it easier to steal music will and is killing the entire music biz, from the songwriters who write the songs to the musicians and engineers that work on the records. There are 70% fewer professional songwriters than 7 years ago. People complain that music is steadily sounding worse….there’s a reason for that.
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