Apple’s new cloud music service has been slammed by the music industry for making piracy legal.
Software messiah Steve Jobs emerged from his sickbed to announce the iCloud, which will allow people to store their songs, calendar entries and other files on Apple’s servers.
But what has got the music industry’s goat is a tool called iTunes Match, which has been dubbed by some as a “music pirate amnesty”.
What the $24.95 a year service does is scan users’ hard drives for music, including files obtained illegally, and matches them with the authorised tracks in Apple’s iTunes library. It then makes a quality iTunes version of the tracks automatically accessible in the iCloud.
This service is only available to US users where piracy levels are low. The sorts of US Apple users are only going to want to stream their Coldplay collections anyway, and chances are they would have bought them.
Michael Speck, who ran the music industry’s landmark court case against file sharing network Kazaa told the Syndey Morning Herald that Apple was “no better than the old p2p pirates”.
Using a metaphore, he said that Jobs was allowing punters to legally park their stolen cars. This would hardly encourage people to splash out and buy new ones, he said. True but then again Jobs usually parks where he likes.
Speck said the $25 access fee for iTunes Match was giving Jobs a $25 fee for an alibi
Still a row between the two biggest reality distortion fields, Big Content, and Jobs’ Mob will be entertaining to say the least.