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Amazon negotiating for Cloud Player music licensing deals after all?

Sean Hollister
03.30.11
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Publically, Amazon wants you to think it doesn't care about licensing the music that it will let you store in the cloud, but privately we're hearing the company is scrambling like mad to work things out with angry music labels as we speak. Specifically, the Wall Street Journal cites a pair of anonymous sources who say Amazon's actually negotiating deals with the four major labels right now -- though Amazon won't confirm such a thing -- which the e-tailer hopes to close in a matter of weeks. What's more, they say Amazon may move to a system that compares users' uploaded songs with a database of those tunes it's managed to licence should the deal go through -- a system much like Sony's Music Unlimited, by the sound of it. It shouldn't come as any surprise, then, that the Journal quotes Sony Music chairman Martin Bandier in its final paragraph, who makes his pointed indignation at Amazon's announcement heard:
"This is just another land grab. I can't make it any plainer than that. It's really disrespectful, and of course we are considering all of our options."
Nothing like a little bit of mainstream media coverage to help pressure a business deal.

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