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Technology & Innovation

Record Companies Lose in Cloud-Music Ruling

A federal court has made it easier for companies like Amazon and Google to create music databases in the cloud without violating record labels’ copyright provisions. 

What’s the Latest Development?

A cloud-based music company which that allows users to store their music collection online has been given the green light by a federal court, ruling against a major record label who alleged copyright infringement. Instead of uploading every song in one’s collection, MP3tunes keeps of cache of songs in waiting. If the service recognizes a user’s song, it deploys the cached copy to the user’s online library rather than forcing him or her to upload the entire file itself. The deciding factor was that MP3tunes keeps only one copy of each song in its cache.

What’s the Big Idea?

The federal court ruled that copyright infringement had not occurred because the cloud music service was not illegally reproducing any songs. It simply deployed its single copy to a user’s music library which, thanks to the service’s song recognition technology, first confirms the user has the same exact song. While Apple’s iTunes store has the blessing of the major record labels, the cloud-based music services recently launched by Amazon and Google do not. They require that users to upload each song, wasting disk storage space as well as bandwidth.


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