Thursday, May 12, 2011

Music and Cloud Computing

Hot on the heals of the news that Google has commenced its music locker service with US invites being issued without having secured licenses from the music industry, comes a new paper from First Monday that looks at the changing nature of music and cloud computing. In particular the contingency of music is examined with user rights set to be tested by the reach of internet companies into their lives. The paper goes on to consider the privacy implications of cloud computing:

In these respects, cloud–based services present a serious affront to user rights. In a recently released highly critical report on cloud computing, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (2010) notes that cloud services offer users a worrying lack of control over data and services, lack of meaningful consent to advertising, and often lock consumers in to specific services by centralizing user data and not making it exportable to other services. Data in the cloud also opens up user information to misuse, obsolescence, and invasion, often without the knowledge of the user (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 2010). Whereas the loss of CDs or tapes could be considered an invasion of privacy, the loss of personal information in these instances hardly compares to the data that is potentially vulnerable through many cloud music services. Furthermore, because of the cloud’s imprecise location, it remains unclear which states, governments, private actors or other political bodies have jurisdiction over the regulation of the cloud, the data streams it generates, and users’ rights

This is a really interesting paper and well worth a few minutes to read.

Further Reading

Jeremy Wade Morris,
'Sounds in the Cloud: Cloud Computing and the Digital Music Commodity' (16) 5 First Monday (2 May 2011) < > at 12 May 2011

TechDirt, Google Follows Amazon's Lead: Launching Music Locker, But Ignoring RIAA Demands For Licenses (10 May 2011) < > at 12 May 2011

TechDirt, Google: Major Labels Got In The Way Of Cool Features In Google Music (10 May 2011) <> at 12 May 2011

The Register, Google officially unveils 'cloud' music betaOffline listening on Android (10 May 2011) <> at 11 May 2011

Digital Music News, Google Music Is Now Launching, Without Label Licensing... (10 May 2010) <> at 11 May 2011

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