The seemingly never ending stream of aggressions against music consumers from certain recording companies has this time targeted our partners, MP3Tunes.com (a secure, password protected online storage for your music files).
This time it's EMI who wants to ban private online music storage and has sued MP3Tunes for copyright infringement..
When the record industry behaves like this, it makes it really hard for us who try to sell music in a format that people seem to demand: DRM-free, digital downloads in high quality (MP3 320 kbps), at reasonable prices.
The problem is that this kind of behavior is pushing people into illegal file sharing, and gives the music business as a whole a bad name. We don't need that, thank you, EMI. eClassical thinks it's a great service to offer our customers direct links for uploading the music they purchase from us to their personal, secure and password protected locker. We see this as value-adding and not infringement of any copyright. We encourage our customers to do what they please with the music they purchase from us (apart from sharing it on P2P since that is still illegal in most countries).
We think it's great if our customers can store their music online and access it from any computer on the internet, we think it's great that they can move their music around between computers and devices, wihtout the hassle of DRM licenses (you know the type that makes your music stop working all of a sudden). And we think it's great that they can burn the music onto CDs as they wish.
It makes it really weird and hard for us who try to offer a customer focused and friendly music service, when we have to dedicate some of our limited resources on countering the Music industry's attacks on our customers. We have to fight alongside the "pirates" because as it is right now, they are the good guys. We have to explain to people that purchasing MP3s without DRM is actually legal(!), and that we are not part of RIAA (some people have actually emailed us with concerns that the RIAA could find our legal MP3s on their computer, and claim it got there illegally - would we help protect the customer in which case?).
The situation today is really absurd, and the major labels seem to be very busy shooting their collective foot, and going after its (potential and existing) customers.
I hope the climate between customers and the music industry will cool down and that we all will sit down and laugh at this madness in the future.
If you don't have a locker already, please get one! Help support the part of internet still trying to be a benefit to its users. You can read what MP3Tunes's CEO has to say about this farce in a recent post on their forum.