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To the (Music) Cloud! Ruling Legalizes Lockers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    David Parkinson via National Weather Service Data

    The race to the musical cloud (nirvana?) had one major obstacle removed on Aug. 22 -- a legal ruling saying Amazon and Google are in the clear for launching such services without permission from record labels.

    Music lockers, stored in the cloud, allow users to upload their collections and then download or stream them to any device.

    In 2007, however, those labels sued MP3Tunes -- a similar service/offering -- arguing that some of the files that users would upload are known to be pirated. That meant that MP3Tunes couldn't get immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (which, frankly, is a fascinating protection of anything copyrighted), according to Ars Technica.

    So the federal judge in the case did rule that MP3Tunes was liable for copyright infringement -- a pyrrhic victory, because the judge also ruled that the labels lacked specific complaints about possibly pirated music.

    However, sites with "pirate" or "bootleg" in their URLs will be blocked and/or monitored. (Like they weren't already.)

    If the judge's ruling holds up, music cloud services will be firmly immune from copyright liabilities, proving that Amazon and Google were right all along.