Warner Music Group has been busy today. Following the announcement this morning that it had signed a distribution agreement with YouTube, it has announced that a deal has been reached to offer its catalogue to Qtrax, a yet-unlaunched P2P music sharing site.
Qtrax bills itself, “the world’s first ad-supported P2P Legal Service”, but despite having signed deals with music companies over 2 years ago, it has yet to come to fruition.
It’s designed as a P2P site that offers free downloads as it is ad supported, and in this way is similar to SpiralFrog, which is slated to launch in December of this year. Although users can download and play songs for free on their PCs, if they try to burn a song to CD or download it to a portable media player, they’ll have to pay a fee.
Files distributed by Qtrax will be protected using Audible Magic’s digital fingerprinting and copyright filtering service, which will limit unauthorised distribution.
At the time when it was announced that Qtrax had inked a deal with BMI in May 2004, Mike Rudd, President and CEO of Singwell International, the technology distribution company that distributed Qtrax, said, “It has taken two and a half years to reach Singwell’s goal of facilitation a middle ground between the record industry, songwriters, publishers, and the P2P software industry”.
It has taken another 2 years after that to reach agreements with EMI, who signed up in August, and now Warner Music.