While I don't believe that Amazon's Cloud Drive is all that innovative or special or game-changing, the way they are handling the Big Four music labels very well could be. According to this story at Ars Technica, Amazon did no license negotiation with the Industry, opting instead to put up a logical defense that could be the beginnings of a major sea change in consumer media consumption.
"[W]e do not need a license to store music in Cloud Drive," Griffin added in an e-mail to Ars. "The functionality of saving MP3s to Cloud Drive is the same as if a customer were to save their music to an external hard drive or even iTunes."
Amazon is practically begging the RIAA and label legal counsels to break down their doors with lawsuits. However, I believe this act is what could be a major turning point for both major media creators and distributors, as well as for consumers.
If the Big Four were smart, they would work with Amazon, leave it alone for a few months, and more than likely see their sales rise. This is the next logical step in convenience purchasing for consumers. No longer do you have to download, toss into iTunes and sync the song with your player - now you can buy it and have it instantly available to stream, anywhere (well almost - there's this whole issue of Cloud Player being desktop or Android-only). If that doesn't stimulate impulse buys, then I don't know what will.
But, as we've seen over the past nearly-a-decade, the Big Four are not smart. As @fienen noted earlier:
The music industry is like the only place that expects you to buy their product, but then they do everything to prevent use.
So this is Amazon's big chance. If they get taken to court–and seriously, how could they not have been expecting to?–and get a good judge, this could be a pivotal moment in how we access media. I'm not getting my hopes up that it will be, but it will be interesting to see how things play out.