QTrax execs insisted
that they would not have launched the service without Big Music's backing, although they admitted that the "ink hadn't dried" on some of deals. The company had spent an estimated $1 million at a
conference in Cannes trying to convince the industry that their site would help stem the flow of illegal piracy over the Web. Here's how it works: fans would be able to download and own songs for
free provided they put up with a limited amount of advertising while searching the network. However, music files would be protected by digital rights management and would be incompatible with Apple's
"We wouldn't have launched the service in front of the whole music industry unless we had secured its backing," said QTrax CEO Alan Klepfisz. "We do have industry agreements including the major labels. Even today, we are working on more deals." He said adding the company would deliver on its promises "within months."