Google Music and Amazon Cloud player got a legal boost from a New York federal ruling about online music lockers. (David Paul Morris/BLOOMBERG)

Ars Technica reported that a judge ruled that MP3tunes, an online music locker, is eligible for a safe harbor in the digital copyright law that protects a company from copyright liability over illegal music uploaded to its service as long as it removes that material when notified. While the judge in the case ruled in favor of EMI, the report says it was a hollow victory at best.

Judge William Pauley wrote in court documents that there is “no genuine dispute” about whether or not MP3tunes should be considered under the safe harbor.

Public Knowledge’s Sherwin Siy said in a statement that the court rejected a framework EMI put forth that “would have imperiled remote-storage services and other cloud applications. The court’s rejection of these arguments deflates a lot of the legal uncertainty that record labels have tried to inject into these technological developments.”

The New York Times, on the other hand, has pointed out that the ruling could hurt online music lockers as the court found that MP3tunes is on the hook for not trying hard enough to get illegal material off of its servers. The company removed links to files that were found to infringe on copyrights, but didn’t remove the files themselves from customers’ accounts.

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