Apple’s about to launch a cloud music service, and—as opposed to Amazon—it’s got the music label licenses to give it some clout. That could spell trouble for Amazon in the future, unless Apple’s licenses come with cumbersome restrictions against how users can store their music.

When Amazon launched its cloud-enabled music storage service without receiving licenses from the record companies, it rocked the music industry, which feared that music storage on cloud servers would only open more doors for pirates. But Amazon was sick of waiting around for the go ahead, and they were already known as pioneers. Not only were they the first to parcel the cloud into a brandable, sellable product, but they also branched out into the domain of Netflix, which surprised some people.

Google was quick to follow Amazon’s example, but Apple’s cozying up to the record labels by playing by their rules has the potential of tightening the competition. Both sides are players in creating the precedent that will rule the cloud in the future. New parameters are being set and it will be interesting to see whose side is favored. I will say that Apple’s not in a bad position with the actual labels backing them up, but Amazon is pretty good at rallying too, and lately it’s had a lot on its plate.