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Music Industry Embraces Online Music Service

In an attempt to provide legitimate access to music on the Internet, the five major record companies announced that they have joined with MTVi Group, the Internet division of the cable TV outlet, to launch a new website allowing consumers to download music from the Internet based on a per use or monthly subscription fee.

The record companies recognized that without an authorized Internet music service the industry could lose millions of online consumers to dozens of Napster-like file-sharing sites, such as Gnutella. The MTVi music service will utilize software that will, behind the scenes, track and record which songs are sold and will pay a royalty fee to whichever company, performer and/or songwriter is entitled based on their copyrights. This is only the first of many models with an eye toward copyright and royalty protection while answering consumer demand for flexibility, choice and convenience in purchasing music.

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