controlling digital-music lockers

For almost 10 years, Michael Robertson, the often controversial cofounder of and Linspire, has toiled to store music in the cloud, the term used to describe the seemingly limitless amount of data and services accessible with a Web browser. But in the past, Robertson’s efforts have led him into huge legal battles with the music industry. That’s where he finds himself once again. In November, EMI filed a copyright suit against him and his music service, More recently, Robertson has had to watch competitors generate headlines with an idea he helped pioneer. On Monday, launched a service that enables customers to upload songs into digital music lockers (or the cloud) and then stream the tracks to Web-connected devices. Before launching, Lala obtained licenses from each of the top four recording companies. The differences between MP3tunes & Lala are many but the most notable among them is this: Robertson doesn’t believe services such as his are obligated to obtain licenses to help consumers store legally owned music. How this legal case is decided could help determine who owns the keys to digital lockers. Little in EMI’s complaint indicates that the label objects to the storing of music in lockers, digital or otherwise. As a matter of fact, the document reads like a run-of-the-mill piracy complaint. The record label accuses MP3tunes of then handing users the ability to share access to their music lockers with anybody. According to EMI, MP3tunes only requires customers to submit an e-mail and password to access their music. EMI lawyers argued that such lax security enables a locker to become a “virtual drop box for this illegal distribution.” Robertson dismisses EMI’s claims and said Sideload is nothing but a search engine just like Google and Yahoo. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects service providers from responsibility for any crimes committed by users, Robertson said. He claims EMI’s lawsuit is designed to camouflage the record industry’s true goal, which is to prevent him and anyone else from storing music in digital lockers without first paying licensing fees….for more head to Greg Sandoval’s article for CNET here.

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About grnarrow

Setlist Architect/Art Scene Checker-Outer/Sound Feeler

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