MP3Tunes Founder Michael Robertson Weighs in on Locker Licensing Demands
MP3Tunes Founder Michael Robertson Weighs in on Locker Licensing Demands

Haven't read enough yet about Amazon's Cloud Drive music locker service? Neither have we. Michael Robertson, founder of Amazon rival MP3Tunes, airs a little dirty laundry on the concerns and demands he claims the major labels have for music locker services, posted over at TechCrunch. Here's a summary:

- Universal Music Group only wants songs with digital receipts of some kind available for storage, so pirated files can be legitimized
- Sony wants to restrict replacement downloads to a one-time use only, to prevent hard drive swapping
- Warner Music Group is worried about users setting up multiple accounts, so it wants some kind of centralized locker authority or other way of tying lockers to a unique identifier.
- EMI apparently has no concerns because Robertson didn't list any. Which is odd, since it's EMI that's suing him over his service.

It's not clear whether any of these concerns are directed at Amazon, or whether they're the concerns he's heard from labels over MP3Tunes in the past. Probably a little of both.

The takeaway is that labels tend to have different concerns over how new music services should operate, and place different demands on licensing. Often, those demands are contradictory, making it difficult if not impossible for the digital service to comply with them all. We've heard the same from streaming subscription services that want to offer a free usage tier a la Spotify.

Which is why so many eyes are on Apple and Google. A strong partner such as these could help force some consensus, creating a template that other, less powerful partners can then replicate in own deals-or at least come close.