Amazon to Music Industry: Shut Up, We Know What's Good For You

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The music industry is still trying to wrap its legal head around what Amazon's Cloud Player really is. Essentially, it's a player for an online server--the Cloud Drive--that lets users upload their media files and access from all manner of computers, phones, and gadgets, via the Interwebs. The music industry thinks Amazon needs a license to do this. Amazon thinks the music industry needs to shut its mouth and take it. And the company has sent a letter to them that says as much.

Billboard reported on the unpublicized letter on Monday, though it didn't post the document entirely or say how they came by it.

In it Amazon apparently claims that the Cloud Drive and Player have boosted mp3 sales, so the record companies should be grateful. The company, of course, has no proof of this.

The letter, signed from the Amazon Music Team, doesn't back up its claim about increased sales . . .

The letter does go on to further drive home the fact that Amazon has no plans to acquire licenses for the music that's uploaded to the web and made accessible to its fee-paying subscribers. Instead, the company likens its technology to any common plug-in storage device.

David M. Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, is not impressed. He has this to say to Billboard.

"It is extremely troubling that [Amazon] would launch this without having discussion with copyright holders so we can discuss whether a license is needed," NMPA president and CEO David M. Israelite tells Billboard. While Amazon appears to want to add services and license music, Israelite added that Amazon's initial approach "doesn't create an environment of trust and cooperation."

If nothing else, the letter shows the large divide in thought between the original owners of media files and the companies that later manage, host, and, most important, make a buck on them.

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