Hurry Up and Wait For Legal Cloud-Stored Music – EMI vs. MP3tunes Decision 2-6 Months Away

image from Is cloud-stored music legal? Do labels deserve an extra payment? We'll see.

EMI's lawsuit against Michael Robertson's MP3tunes has winded down. A ruling, however, may be 2-6 months away.

If won, MP3tunes will be deemed legal and Google can store user's songs in the cloud whether the major labels like it or not.

Right now, labels are referring to MP3tunes and Sideload as "3G music piracy" – whatever that means, Robertson quips. Rather than publish an analysis of the case and where he thinks it's going, he has posted a rough question outline:

Questions the Judge asked EMI:

  • Isn't there a lot of free music on the Internet?
  • EMI employee Sanford Schwartz talked about EMI "virally" spreading music files. Is that true?
  • Are there lawful uses of Sideload?
  • Don't other search engines have indexes like Sideload?
  • Is there a distinction between users who post files on the net and users who consume or download those files?
  • How is MP3tunes different than YouTube?
  • Are users of YouTube flagrantly violating copyright laws if they view an infringing work which has been hosted on YouTube?
  • How is MP3tunes and Sideload different than Colbert Report on YouTube?
  • What about the 50 songs EMI acknowledges they've distributed on the net for free?
  • Does YouTube send notices to users who just view a video which is later removed due to a takedown notice?
  • If users always get the version of the song they store back, why does it matter how the file is stored?

Question the Judge asked MP3tunes:

  • Why not search all lockers and remove other copies from lockers if same as one in a takedown notice?
  • Because of the architecture don't you know where piracy files are?
  • Isn't it obvious that a file from a California swim team web site is not authorized to distribute freely?
  • When MP3tunes disables an offending link can a user re-enable that link?
  • Is MP3tunes use of cover art storage protected by the DMCA safe harbors?

"From the questions you can see that the Judge is looking at our case in the light of YouTube which was found to be legal," Robertson writes. What's your take?

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