Saturday, April 30, 2011

Behind The Scenes: Record Label Demands Of Amazon

I asked the inventor, Jim Yates, for his comments on the reports of the very interesting but very confused negotiations going on behind the scenes between Amazon and the record labels.  Since Jim is the inventor, and the discussion is getting very technical, I have decided not to put my own gloss on it and just let Jim's reaction speak for itself:

As you probably know, the link (...) is for a Michael Robertson article detailing the Amazon talks with the labels.  I find no indication of any source for this information so I wonder how he came to know about it in such detail.  Also it needs to be known that he is on Google's payroll as well as being the owner of MP3Tunes (which is disclosed).  I note that the Warner Music (which is for sale you recall) position is the most interesting, "...What WMG would like to see happen is that a central locker authority would administer all locker assignments. ...".  Well, there is a good idea.  But then they go on to demand all sorts of payments, which Amazon and everyone else knows are not required or reasonable.  Btw, the use of the embedded sales information in the MP3 file is not much different than DRM and pretty useless without independent confirmation.  But if you get the independent confirmation from the source you did not need the embedded information except as a path to the source which could be obtained elsewhere.  The major use would be to track things like gifts which would require a test for uniqueness.  So the bottom line is that it can be helpful but it is not a complete solution.
We know the only complete solution.  These others are just wobbling along the trail to finding it.
Along that trail appears to be  We can discuss that at length elsewhere.
It should be noted that all this discussion is about playing media that is 'owned' in some way.  Nothing at all about transactions, proper one to one sharing. 
Also should be noted that, if Michael Robertson's information is correct then RIAA and IFPI are out of the loop or talking to different or the wrong people and/or do not have a clue as to what we have been talking to them about.  I think we should confront them with the article and our explanation of how we solve the reasonable issues (not the demands for media taxes).

I cannot resist adding one comment.  It is to Michael Robertson's final line:
With the record labels wide reaching demands it’s difficult to see how Amazon, or any company, could arrive at a workable license for personal cloud music.
Indeed, it is difficult to see.   And it won't happen until the labels and Amazon humble themselves to consider that the solution comes from outside of both their industries: it comes from financial-industry wisdom. 

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