Why Amazon Cloud Drive, the DropBox Clone, is Legal

Fellow Geezam.com writer and Editor Kelroy in his article Amazon Cloud Drive Launches seems to have gone gaga (as in overzealous, not the singer people!) over Amazon basically, as we Jamaicans would say, “pataclaw” of Apple and Google, both of whom it had been speculated to be keeping plans close to their chest as it relates to launch such a similar Cloud streaming service.

Especially as Apple had purchased Lala in August 2009 only to later shut it down with nary a hint of an iTunes-esque revival.

Lala the Sage to stream iTunes libraries, the popular thought of the day, was, as they say, a thought in the clouds.

Guess Apple thought people would use their pricey MobileMe Cloud Storage to share and play on their iOS enabled devices would have sufficed. Too bad they did not realize that with DropBox and their 2GB of free storage 5GB if you can co-opt a few more friend to join; (not hard!!), you could already do the same.

Guess Amazon beat them ALL to the punch with a service that is as simple as pie that serves up 5GB free Cloud storage for anything you can throw at them. Plus Amazon throws in an Amazon Cloud Player that enables you with the ability to stream over the Cloud [Internet of any kind] onto any Google Android device, be it Tablet or Smartphone..

With no support for iOS devices at the time of writing this article, clearly Amazon’s Service is spoiling for a fight with the Big A boxing out of the Cupertino corner, but fears to take the roaring iOS Lion on directly. Fret not Amazon!

Apple will probably respond by WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) to be held Monday June 6th 2011 to Friday June 10th April 2011, for which tickets are currently a hot commodity at US$3000 from those no-good scalpers [unauthorized ticket resellers]. D’Licious!

Not to mention being an unabashed and unashamed clone of DropBox. In case you are scratching your head and this nebulous Cloud based ranting is unfamiliar to you, then let me officially welcome you to the world of Cloud based Storage, the College Student’s best friend, dear reader.

Coming to Kingston from Clarendon and can’t afford a thumb Drive ‘cause you get only JA$1500 as pocket money for the week?

Your thumb Drive is on its last legs and you have to backup your data?

Have a presentation to deliver, got Internet Access but no thumb Drive?

Campus PC you are using does not have a CD/DVD Burner or there is no DVD Burning software?

No problem, Rasta!

Sign up for either DropBox or Amazon Cloud Drive. The Linux Server driven sister services work exactly the same both in app for smartphone and desktop form, with the following differences:

  1. Amazon Cloud Drive Give you 5GB free; DropBox gives you only 2GB free
  2. Amazon is optimized for playing music with their Amazon Cloud Music layer; DropBox is just a shared folder on your desktop, so steaming is as simple as clicking the music or video file
  3. Amazon streams movie clips and music files via its Amazon Clous Player and allows upload from one device at a time; DropBox allows for file sharing and collaborative synching

That said, you will soon realize how nice it is to have the ability to back up your files on an online mounted Drive such as the Amazon Cloud Drive or DrobBox, which is essentially like having a large thumb Drive for free.

I have both by the way. Not to mention Google Docs, a basic Cloud based word processor that I mention here merely because it is Cloud based and is also another free resource for College students.

So with all the possible file sharing lawsuits that this may spawn from the RIAA (Recording Industry Artiste Association) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association), why is Amazon Cloud Drive in the clear legally?

Because for one, you are allowed to back up you music collection and files.

Legally obtained or not. Especially as the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) acknowledges as much, even going as so far as to make no distinction between a file for music and a file that is a word document or other type.

This is easily changeable via changing the file extension to hide the file’s identity!

That’s why DropBox is stile alive and kicking, having gone from one million (1,000,000) users in 2009 to four million (4,000,000) in January 2010 and now in April 2011 nearly twenty five million (25,000,000) users sharing one hundred million (100,000,000) files a day.

Definitely, DropBox will hit 25 billion by the time the London 2012 Olympics is around the corner!!

This on a service whose only major advertising push from day one  has been word-of-mouth via email recommendations and a dead simple Shared Folder Interface for it Cloud Storage Platform.

The Amazon Cloud Music Player allows playback on logon to Amazon. This authenticates the validity of your access request by verifying the person logging on is a legitimate user of the Amazon Cloud Drive but it does not verify your identity.

This guarantees security for the users, preventing unauthorized distribution of media files, should the RIAA and the MPAA decided to get legal.

Notwithstanding this, the Player can only be run one (1) device at a time and only copies of your original files are uploaded to the Drive

Like DropBox.

Thus you can only stream music and movies via one device at a time, much as you can only log on to Dekal Wireless from one computer at a time as my article Dekal Wireless: Broadband for the Masses points out.

True for any dial-up Internet service: one (1) machine at a time!

Thus via this simple argument, it can be seen that distribution is ONLY possible if the user share their original files, which may be legally or illegally obtained.

Throw in the fact that 5GB cannot hold a full HD (High Definition) ripped DVD, the real moneymaker as opposed to the theft of a US$1.99 music file (note it’s a file; online *.mp3, *.doc files et al are meaningless distinctions!).

Thus the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association)  would be the first to back out of any such class action suit on behalf of its clients, the Movie Industry aka Hollywood, as this would mean that it is not a threat to their UltraVoilet Streaming Service premium- just-released movie titles , soon the be launched later this Fall of 2011.

If you were a fly-on-the-wall in court, it would be the fastest “No Case” submission the Supreme Court Judge would hand down.

So there you have it folks, cut and dry and to the point.

A first, even for me!

Apple and Google better watch out!! The Cloud Streaming services Platforms are already jockeying into position. Already Freemium services like EU based Spotify.

Sign up for both services for a total of 7GB of Online Cloud Storage for files, as the obvious equation applies:

(DropBox Cloud Storage Service + Cloud Streaming Player) – File sharing and synching = Amazon Cloud Drive Service.

They’re BOTH legal and FREE!! A poor College student’s best friend!

Just pray that the day your FD10A Essay or Physics Lab Report is due, you University does not up and have a whole day Power cut……….



Amazon Cloud Drive



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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.