Music mogul EMI has just lost a major legal battle with cloud music.
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EMI Capital Records along with 14 other companies slapped MP3Tunes with a lawsuit, making a string of allegations (33,000) against the fledgling cloud music service, claiming it infringed music rights by sideloading songs from the net directly to personal lockers (like Google Magnifier and Amazon store is doing).
The giant also alleged its storage method of deduplication – running a music search engine and linking directly to songs online – was also infringement and alleged the music service didn’t do enough to stop repeat infringers.
EMI also said playing back songs from a locker was a public performance which requires a license.
However, these allegations were thrown out by the US federal courts in a verdict delivered on Monday last.
The Court ruled that “MP3Tunes qualified for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbors, and copyright holders, not the service providers, must police for and give specific notice of copyright infringement.”
The record companies had claimed the music service has violated 33,000 of its works, but the court ruled a mere 350 of these were valid. The verdict “is definitely a victory for cloud music and MP3tunes.
“The Judge OKed our core business of storing and playing music in our cloud-based service,” Michael Robertson, MP3 founder, declared.
Music service like Amazon, Google, Grooveshark and Dropbox can have “renewed confidence in offering similar unlicensed services,” he added.
Users can also have confidence that they can to store, play cloud-based music services, without fears of breaking copyright laws, he added.
“Few companies have been able to stand up to the record labels attacks and get rulings from the court on key issues relevant to the future of the internet music.”
The ruling will set new precedent if it remains standing,” Robertson believes and doesn’t anticipate any changes to how his cloud based service operates.
He also insisted his service was operated in a responsible manner which is why the court rule in his favour for 99% of the claims.
MP3tunes allows syncing of music down to PC and an open API, one of the only such cloud services to do so.