Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Cloud Music Lockers

Paul Lilly

Both EMI and MP3tunes are claiming victory in a court case brought on by the former against the latter over claims that MP3tunes ran afoul of copyright law by failing to remove illegally obtained songs from its storage lockers. A federal judge in New York partially agreed with EMI and found MP3tunes liable for infringing on roughly 350 songs, which is 99 percent less than EMI claimed the service was responsible for, but there's another reason why MP3tunes came out ahead.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley III granted MP3tunes safe haven under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), ultimately ruling that record labels will have to accept that cloud music lockers are on the right side of the law.

"If enabling a party to download infringing material was sufficient to create liability, then even search engines like Google or Yahoo! would be without DMCA protection," the judge wrote in his ruling. "In that case, the DMCA's purpose -- innovation and growth of Internet services -- would be undermined."

The judge further ruled that "the DMCA does not place the burden of investigation on the Internet service provider," essentially granting MP3tunes the same protection as an ISP, and by extension, other cloud music locker services like the ones offered by Amazon and Google.

You can read the full ruling here .

Image Credit: hitechanalogy.com

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