Why an iPhone developer yanked an Amazon cloud-music app

Turns out it was because Amazon asked him to, citing unsettled rights issues. Earlier reporting suggested the music industry was behind it.

Update, 2:26 p.m. PST: Additional reporting reveals that Amazon, not the music industry, asked app developer IIS to pull back an iPhone app that would play music from Amazon's cloud service.

An iPhone developer agreed to pull back an app that allowed users to listen to songs stored in Amazon's cloud--but it wasn't pulled at the request of music labels, as previously reported.

Evolver.fm, a music blog, reported earlier today that Interactive Innovative Solutions (IIS), which works with Apple's IOS devices, was forced to remove the app, called aMusic, because of legal issues having to do with the music industry.

It wasn't clear from the Evolver story which part of the music industry objected to the app or whether iTunes had any problem with the software--and that's because it wasn't any part of the music industry. As it turns out, Amazon itself contacted James Clancey, owner of IIS, and politely asked him to remove the app from iTunes.

In a phone call with CNET today, Clancey, 27, said that Amazon representatives told him that the company doesn't have the proper licenses to allow its music to be used by third parties in the way Clancey intended.

Clancy said the Amazon rep told him that once the company has obtained the proper licenses, he'll be allowed to offer the app again. He might be waiting for a while.

Amazon and Google launched cloud music services this year without acquiring licenses from the top record companies, and negotiations have dragged on inconclusively. These cloud services enable users to store songs on the company's servers and access them via Web-connected devices.

Without the licenses, the merchants are prevented from offering a full array of features for fear of violating the record labels' copyrights.

Clancey offers a similar app, gMusic, that's designed to do much the same thing for Google's music cloud. In the case of gMusic, though, a planned update is being held up by Apple. Apple representatives did not respond to an interview request.

 

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