Amazon cloud-based music services face backlash from music industry

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

Only days after its announcement, the Amazon Cloud Drive, a service which allows customers to access and listen to music across devices, is already receiving negative feedback.

The individuals behind the backlash are primarily music industry executives who are threatening a legal battle.

The system allows users to store 1,000 songs on Amazon’s web servers for free and play them over an Internet connection to their computer, or Android smartphones running Android.

Sony Music was the first to speak out against Amazon’s decision to launch without new licenses for music streaming.

Spokeswoman Liz Young said, "We hope that they'll reach a new license deal... But we're keeping all of our legal options open."

The upset marks a widespread feeling amongst music industry execs, as bigger projects like Google Music and Apple’s solutions loom in the near future.

Amazon, having beat the big boys to the punch, saw shares in its stock rise 3.1 percent since launching the Amazon Cloud Drive.

"I've never seen a company of their size make an announcement, launch a service and simultaneously say they're trying to get licenses," said an executive close to the launch.

Currently, the music industry is still going after copyright infringement via direct download as can be seen in new US legislation that allows these people to demand monetary compensation without court proceedings.

"The labels have engaged in a legal terror campaign over the last 10 years using litigation to try and slow technology progress," MP3tunes founder Michael Robertson, a company that was sued for offering a similar service to Amazon Cloud Drive.

Analyst for BGC Partners, Colin Gillis, added, "[Amazon doesn’t] have leadership in digital formats. The next big race is locker services -- that's what we want."

Google Music is expected to launch by May and Apple’s version by June, although these dates are tentative.

(Via Reuters