Music industry routed in court

The music industry is twirling its moustache and crying  “curses I am foiled again” after a federal court judge found that the MP3tunes cloud music service didn’t violate copyright laws.

The technology involved in the case was similar to those powering Dropbox, Amazon’s Cloud Drive, and Google Music.

What it will mean is that instead of having to store as many copies of music as there are users on a cloud-based system, outfits will only have to store one.

According to Wired,  this makes it easer for Amazon and Google for customers to use their music services. It also gives them legal protection to reduce the amount of disk space needed per user.

Outfits can let users add songs found on webpages and through search to their lockers with a single-click without either being sued by record labels.

MP3tunes started it all off by having an online music locker service, that allows a customer to upload the music from their hard drives to a “locker” on the web, where they can play back the songs from any connected device.

Instead of wasting time uploading all of a user’s songs, MP3tunes’ software checks the library for previously uploaded songs. If a match existed, the song would just be added to the locker without requiring an upload.

EMI did not like the sound of this. They claimed that it would make pirated files legitimate.

However, the ruling makes clear that if MP3tunes scanned a customer’s music collection and found “Stairway to Heaven” ripped from a CD with a slightly different file size, the company could not simply substitute a master copy. Instead, that customer would have to upload the file.

Dropbox uses a similar technology. Amazon and Google require every user to upload every song, regardless of whether other users had uploaded the exact same file.

However now they can use a similar technology and save their customers weeks of uploading files.

That design decision seemed to be in keeping with a decision in the Cablevision case, where the Second Circuit Appeals Court ruled that the cable company’s DVR in the cloud was legal only because every user who told the service to record a given show got their own copy of the show made.