Is the launch of Amazon Cloud Player one of these events that will change the world? Yesterday, Amazon launched two new services: Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player.
Amazon put some safeguards to avoid (or at least give Amazon a way to stop) any attempt to use it as “Direct Download Site”. Thus in clause 1,
You agree not to use the Service in any other way, including to store, transfer or distribute files of or on behalf of third parties, for any form of file sharing, to operate your own file storage service or to resell any part of the Service.
In clause 5.1
You must ensure that you have all the necessary rights in Your Files that permit you to use the Service without infringing the rights of any copyright owners, violating any applicable laws or violating the terms of any license or agreement to which you are bound. You must ensure that Your Files are free from any malware, viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, worms, or other malicious or harmful code.
Not bad, the liability against the malware. About liability, what is the liability of Amazon? All is said in the clause 5.3.
5.3.Security. We do not guarantee that Your Files will not be subject to misappropriation, loss or damage and we will not be liable if they are. You’re responsible for maintaining appropriate security, protection and backup of Your Files.
And of course, if you believe in Amazon’s altruism, read clause 6.4
6.4.Information Provided The Service and the Software may provide Amazon with information relating to your use and performance of the Service and the Software, as well as information regarding the devices on which you download and use the Software and the Service. For example, this information may include the device type, mobile network connectivity, location of the device, information about when the Software is launched, individual session lengths for use of the Service, or occurrences of technical errors. Any information we receive is subject to the Amazon.com privacy notice located at www.amazon.com/privacy.
Amazon Cloud Player is more interesting. When you buy a song on Amazon store, you’ll be able to upload it to your Cloud Drive. Using the software Amazon Cloud Player, you may listen to your library from any devices that supports Amazon Cloud Player (It seems that it is only available for Windows OS, and Android). Amazon is the second larger seller of digital music behind Apple. Of course, you may also upload songs not purchased at Amazon and still listen them, as long as they are not DRM-protected).
Thus, Amazon Cloud Player combined with Amazon Cloud Drive is an instance of Digital Locker for music. It is not a Digital Rights Locker (DRL, such as UltraViolet or KeyChest) because there is no notion of usage rights associated. Furthermore, there is no notion of content protection.
Will it change something? Most probably yes. Apple and Google will react, most probably with a similar offer. Will the content owners like it? I am not sure. it may depend on the conditions that were negotiated for selling songs. In any case, I am sure that we will see many ripples around this launch.
PS: Amazon Cloud Player is only available for US customers. Amazon Cloud Drive has not such limitation.