I spent a good few hours going through some of my personal music this weekend. Now, I love music and probably don’t spend enough time listening to it, so when I do I like to know where it is and find it quickly.
CD’s are ok for my car but not easy to skip from artist to artist, or dip into a particular album. Also, it is impossible to create a playlist without having to burn a new CD. For me, CD’s are so 1990’s and not my preferred method for enjoying music.
My favourite method is using my mp3 player as I can make playlists and easily find and play tracks I have not heard for years. The problem with mp3’s is that I have my music collection fragmented over 3 computer hard drives.
So, having heard all of the hype about the Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music Beta I was eager to start uploading my music and streaming it from the cloud. Yet to my utter annoyance, outmoded music copyright policies strike again. Amazon and Google are not offering their service in the UK.
Having dug around this appears to be due to the ‘Format Shifting’ aspect of copyright.
See this excerpt from BBC News for full clarification.
Making online copies of tracks is known as format shifting. While the practice may violate copyright, in the US, it is generally defensible under the principle of fair usage.
The same rules do not apply in the UK – meaning, for example, it is technically a breach of copyright law to copy music from a CD onto an MP3 player.
However the music industry has generally turned a blind eye to users copying legally purchased music, not least because of the difficulty in policing infringement.
If Amazon Cloud is to launch in the UK, the company may have to address those issues, say lawyers.
“I am guessing that what they are doing in the US is using the fair usage laws that cover format shifting,” said Brett Farrell, a technology and media lawyer at Barlow Robbins.
“Technically you do not have the right to format shift in the UK.
I mean, what a pain in the **** for genuine music users. Major record labels are standing in the way of how we enjoy music.
In conclusion, I can stream my personal music collection from the cloud in the UK if I…
- A) Use a service that fools Google / Amazon into thinking I am in America
- B) Use one of the less legally conscious services out there.
Is it just me, or is there something really stupid about this?
It seems that, for now at least, I can store my personal music in one place with dropbox or S3 but streaming it and making playlists in the cloud is not possible right now because I live in the UK.
Having said that, turning my CD’s into mp3’s technically means I am breaking the law. Maybe I should keep my illegal activities to myself 🙂
Here’s a link to the full article about Amazon Cloud Player on BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12890677