Boost for cloud music services as EMI loses copyright case


In a landmark ruling, a US federal judge has backed the music storage-locker business model, ruling that companies may develop services that store their customers' songs in the cloud. In a case for music locker service MP3tunes, a federal judge ruled that for the most part, cloud music lockers do not violate copyrights. The ruling is a victory for MP3tunes, which allows people to build online collections of music, mixing songs they have bought with those that have been offered for free on the internet.


In a lawsuit between EMI along with 14 other record companies and cloud music locker service,
It also vindicates the likes of Google, Apple and Amazon who have been fending off legal threats from music publishers for offering similar cloud-computing services for use as virtual "music lockers".

The lawsuit took place in New York and the record companies stated that the cloud music services duplicate files in a way that infringes on copyright, that the services don't do enough to repeat infringers and that playback from a locker comprises of a 'public performance', which requires a license.

The judge ruled that MP3tunes did not promote copyright infringement and found that the service is protected under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The plaintiffs claimed additionally that tracks recorded before 1972, weren't protected by DMCA, however the judge overturned this charge.

Out of the 33,000 violations that record companies had accused MP3tunes of, the judge found only 350 of them to be valid.

The violations are mostly technical, they include MP3tunes' inability to distinguish authorized copies of some songs, given away during viral marketing campaigning and unauthorized copies of the song that were still protected.

What this means for bigger services like Google Music and Amazon Cloud Drive is that they are actually operating on the correct side of the law.

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