EMI Says You Can't Store Your Music Files Online

Today, MP3tunes’ CEO Michael Robertson sent out an email to all users of the online music backup and place-shifting service MP3tunes.com, asking them to help publicize EMI’s ridiculous and ignorant lawsuit against the company. EMI believes that consumers aren’t allowed to store their music files online, and that MP3tunes is violating copyright law by providing a backup service. (And we’re not using a euphemism here—it really is a backup/place-shifting service and not a file sharing site in disguise.)

In March, a court told EMI it couldn’t demand that MP3tunes turn over all the music stored by customers on its servers. Robertson writes on his corporate blog that the request is absurd:

Files are not MP3tunes’ possessions any more than the contents of a safety deposit box are owned by the bank that houses them. The storage provided by MP3tunes is the user’s own space. A Locker is empty when someone opens an account and that customer decides what files are placed into their Locker. All files are stored at the request of the user. People who choose to utilize remote storage should be guaranteed the same level of privacy they have for the files stored on their local hard disk.

Here’s part of Robertson’s email from earlier today:

As you may be aware, the major record label EMI has sued MP3tunes, claiming our service is illegal. You can read about the case here. Much is at stake — if you don’t have the right to store your own music online then you won’t have the right to store ebooks, videos and other digital products as well. The notion of ownership in the 21st century will evaporate. The idea of ownership is important to me and I want to make sure I have that right and my kids do too.

“Court Ruling Denies EMI Access to Millions of Personal MP3 Files” [MIchael Robertson]