Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Latest Update on Free Music?

Here is an article from Sky News (posted 11:00 CST) on the Qtrax attempt to start a free music business with a catalogue of over 25 million songs:

Just hours ago, music download service Qtrax claimed it has brokered an historic deal that, for the first time, would deliver an unlimited supply of free songs to music fans.

But hopes, it seems, have already been dashed as the three of the big four studios allegedly involved have come forward and denied signing any such deal.

Qtrax, which offers a catalogue of 25 million songs to download for free, said today that its service will be endorsed by the biggest powers in the music industry - EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music.

The service was unveiled at the global music industry's largest annual event, MIDEM, in Cannes.

Qtrax chief executive, Allan Klepfisz, said customers expected to be able to get music for free, but didn't want to use illegal sites. "It's been a long trek to this point for peer-to-peer to find its place in a legal world."

He then went on to say that the service would deliver up to 30 million free and legal music tracks for download.

In return for access to the music, users will have to put up with some advertising and Qtrax claimed that Ford, Microsoft and McDonald's have all signed up to advertise.

The files will still contain DRM (Digital Rights Management) software, which means that record companies will be able to keep track of how often their tracks are played and downloaded, and they will be paid in proportion to how popular their music is.

Qtrax says that record labels will also get a cut of the advertising revenue.

Qtrax added there is also plans for an iPod solution as the service is currently not compatible with the Apple device.

But now an Australian news channel is reporting that no such service is on the way and in fact, three of the four record company backers are denying their involvement...


tom wolff said...

Here is the link to the Sky News article: http://news.sky.com/skynews/xml/article/tech/0,,91221-12481,00.html

tom wolff said...

There was a YouTube video posted this morning explaining what Qtrax is and how it works. It can be seen at: http://qtraxnews.blogspot.com/2008/01/qtrax-news_28.html

Anonymous said...


Interesting news:

Pirate Bay hit with legal action
Logo of The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay has millions of users
Four men who run one of the most popular file-sharing sites in the world have been charged with conspiracy to break copyright law in Sweden.

The Pirate Bay's servers do not store copyrighted material but offer links to the download location of films, TV programmes, albums and software.

The website is said to have between 10 and 15 million users around the world and is supported by online advertising.

Police seized computers in May 2006, temporarily shutting down the website.

Prosecutor Hakan Roswall said the website was commercially exploiting copyright-protected work because it was financed through advertising revenues.

According to the Pirate Bay website, its users are currently downloading close to a million files.

On the site, a statement says: "In case we lose the pending trial (yeah right) there will still not be any changes to the site.

" The Pirate Bay will keep operating just as always. We've been here for years and we will be here many more."

In an interview with the BBC's technology programme Click last year Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde said: "I think it's okay to copy. They get their money from so many places that the sales is just one small part."

The Pirate Bay is being targeted because it so popular, so high-profile, and so flagrant in its actions
Darren Waters, Technology editor, BBC News website

Read more from the blog

The other three men facing charges are Carl Lundstrom, Frederik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg.

If convicted, the four men could face a maximum of two years in prison.

The charges relate to 20 music files, nine film files and four computer game files.

In the indictment, Mr Roswall said the four should pay damages of 1.2 million kronor (£90,000), the minimum amount the men profited from the illegal activity, according to the prosecution.

Plaintiffs in the case include Warner, MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony BMG, Universal and EMI.

John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of global music body, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries, said: "The operators of The Pirate Bay have always been interested in making money, not music.

"The Pirate Bay has managed to make Sweden, normally the most law abiding of EU countries, look like a piracy haven with intellectual property laws on a par with Russia."


edward oleander said...

Downloading music should be free, but only after a period of time where the bulk of profit sales are made. Kind of like the exclusive time period drug makers have before generics can be manufactured.

The huge losses that record companies claim from piracy are mostly imaginary. Those companies want you to think that every downloaded song is money right out of their pockets, but that isn't true. Many, if not most, of the people who buy pirated music or DVDs are people who would not actually buy the material in question if they had to pay retail.

NOTE: I have not, do not, and do not recommend illegally downloading copyrighted material or buying pirated movies. I just think you should be able to once the initial profit period is over...