Several months ago, Amazon unveiled its “Cloud Drive” – a web application which permits users with Amazon accounts to upload up to five gigabytes of music, free of charge, to Amazon’s server. Along with providing storage, the service also allows users to access, stream, and download their music from any location. Given that Amazon is providing streaming access music, there is some questions as to whether Amazon’s decision to offer the service, without a license from music owners, may result in future legal disputes. In this respect, Amazon has taken the position it is simply providing users with access to their own music files and, therefore, that no additional licenses are necessary. In contrast to Amazon’s approach, Apple has actively negotiated licenses with music publishers in anticipation of it’s Fall 2011 launch of its “iCloud” service. Music labels, for their part, are remaining silent on the issue as they wait to see how this “plays” out.
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