Sony Music not crazy about Amazon’s newly launched cloud services

amazon-cloud-playerAmazon launched a pair of cloud services earlier this week: Cloud Drive, which offers remote data backup, and Cloud Player for Web, which allows purchased music to be streamed directly from your Cloud Drive to your computer or Android mobile device. Apple and Google were immediately pointed at as top future cloud competitors that had been beaten to the punch by Amazon’s launch, but it seems that Sony Music also has some problems with this latest turn of events.

Essentially, Sony’s beef is that Amazon launched its Cloud Player without first securing the necessary music streaming licenses. It’s a tricky situation though. While it’s true that Cloud Player streams in content to the end-user’s computer, that content comes directly from the Cloud Drive, as that’s where all MP3s purchased from Amazon are stored.

Sony’s not buying it, probably in part because of its own recently launched subscription-based music streaming service, Music Unlimited. Company spokeswoman Liz Young told Reuters, “We hope that they’ll reach a new license deal, but we’re keeping all of our legal options open.”

Amazon contends that streaming licenses aren’t needed in this situation, since the end-user is streaming content from a personal music locker stored remotely as opposed to a wide-open platform with content that can be accessed by anyone. “We do not need a license to store music in Cloud Drive,” Amazon spokesperson Cat Griffin told Ars Technica. “The functionality of saving MP3s to Cloud Drive is the same as if a customer were to save their music to an external hard drive or even iTunes.”

Sony’s fellow major music labels — EMI, Universal Music Group and Warner Music — have issued no public statements regarding Amazon’s cloud launch yet, but the belief among outside observers is that the online retailer didn’t pursue licensing deals at all for Cloud Player’s streaming capabilities. In short, Amazon has effectively sped the industry along to a significant crossroads.

On one hand, you have the online retailer claiming that streaming licenses don’t apply here since users are really just accessing owned content from what amounts to a remote hard drive. Sony, on the other hand, contends that Amazon is in the wrong on this thinking. The two companies are essentially locked in a corporate game of chicken, and since there’s no immediately obvious legal precedent to back up either argument it seems likely that this will all end up playing out in court, as Sony hinted.

Web

Not sure if Amazon Prime is right for you? Here is everything you need to know

So what is Amazon Prime? Is the premium membership really worth the cost of admission? Here, we break down the service's multitude of features, so you can make an informed decision.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Need more contrast in your life? Here’s what you need to know about HDR TVs

So what is HDR TV? In a nutshell, it’s the best thing to happen to TV since the arrival of 4K. Here's everything you need to know about the technology, what it can do, and why it’s a must-have.
Movies & TV

Close that torrent! Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Sling TV, Hulu, or Amazon.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Home Theater

Here’s how to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow casting of anything on your mobile device to your TV. If you're wondering how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to a bigger screen, we've got an in-depth guide.
Gaming

Want to play Minecraft with friends? Here's how to start your own server

Whether you're hosting a server for a few friends or launching a massive effort to recreate your favorite show's world, you've got options for hosting your own Minecraft Server.
Home Theater

The 7 best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Product Review

'Far Cry 5' trades palm trees for pines, but it's still the same old game

Far Cry 5 has all the pieces of a lighthearted open-world romp and a dark, fascinating narrative-driven game. Unfortunately, the two are incompatible.
Home Theater

Don't wake the baby! How to connect headphones to a TV

Do you need to connect a pair of headphones to your TV? Our handy guide will show you how to hook up your headphones in a variety of ways, whether you're using wired headphones, wireless headphones, or gaming headsets.
Mobile

Android Q will likely make its way to the Essential Phone in 2019

The Essential Phone (PH-1) was one of the best-reviewed phones of 2017, and it comes from Andy Rubin, the co-creator of Android itself. It has a striking design with a bezel-less display and the price is now down to $500.
Virtual Reality

Got a Gear VR headset? These are the apps and games you've got to try

Before you put on your new Gear VR headset, you should know which apps and games are worth downloading. Whether you're a fan of documentaries or arcade games, here's a list of the best Gear VR apps and games to be had.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Roll-up solar panels, dream controllers, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

How to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Home Theater

Still wondering why you should buy a smart TV? Here's what you should consider

If you've been living under a rock, you might wonder: What is a smart TV, anyway? Lucky for you stone-dwellers, we've put together a quick-hit guide to teach you everything you need to know about televisions with big brains.
Mobile

Get a better night's sleep by using a blue light filter on your smartphone

Phone makers are taking the potentially disruptive effects of blue light more seriously nowadays. This guide will explain how to use Night Shift on an iPhone and how to filter out blue light on an Android phone.
Mobile

Here’s how — and why — to use Safe mode with an Android phone

When you have an issue with your phone, Safe mode can help you determine whether a third-party app is to blame. If you’re wondering how to access it, or how to turn the feature off in Android, then you have come to the right place.
Deals

Save up to $900 with the best smartphone deals for July 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We've rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.
Product Review

The Moto Z3 Play packs a lot of juice with its included battery mod

Motorola’s latest phone is the mid-range Moto Z3 Play. It costs $500, so why wouldn’t you just get the OnePlus 6? The answer isn’t so simple. There’s a lot to like here, and the phone comes with a battery mod that extends its life…
Mobile

Here’s how to unlock your phone automatically with Android Smart Lock

Tired of unlocking your smartphone with a PIN or passcode? Android Smart Lock unlocks it automatically using your location, face, and more. Here's how to set it up, and everything you need to know about it.
Mobile

Huawei may use a perforated LCD display to create a bezel-less Huawei Mate 20

Huawei has apparently put in an order for massive, 6.9-inch OLED screens, which will be used on a new smartphone coming later this year. Potentially its 2018 Mate series phone, it will challenge other big-screen devices we're expecting.
Mobile

Some Samsung phones aren’t alerting users of app background processes

Worried that Facebook is spying on you? Some Samsung phones aren't correctly showing some apps on the App Permission Monitor, so users won't be alerted if an app tries to access certain permissions.
Mobile

Save the date: The LG V40 ThinQ may be announced in early October

The LG V30 was one of our favorite phones of 2017, and we're expecting big things from its successor in the later part of 2018. Here's absolutely everything we know about the upcoming LG V40 ThinQ.