updated 11:20 am EDT, Thu March 31, 2011
Amazon aggressively seeking Cloud Player partners
Amazon is trying to secure agreements with the major music labels to secure licensing deals after launching its Cloud Player service on Tuesday. According to the Wall Street Journal, unnamed sources said the aggressive negotiations have the intention of making good with the four main record label groups after Amazon surprised them with the launch of the service. The music companies didn't immediately take kindly to the service, as it allows users to stream their existing music libraries to their portable devices from a remote server.
Sony BMG, for example, has said it is keeping its legal options open regarding this service. While Amazon is legally allowed to offer the service, a controversial part of the service is that up to five people can access the songs at the same time. A related precedent-setting case involving Cablevision's storage and sharing of recorded shows for its Network DVRs was approved, but only allowed access by one user at a time.
Another complication involves the need to store a user's songs, even if every user has the same song. Drawing from a central database would save costs related to such redundant storage, but would require the cooperation of the music labels that own the music. Amazon is working on such a service, the sources said.
The somewhat rushed release of the service is likely due to Amazon's wish to beat Apple and Google to similar services, both of whom have been at least temporarily stymied by music labels hoping to charge a second time for access from the cloud.