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QTrax's Humiliating Launch

It was a pretty humiliating launch day for QTrax, the ad-supported music download site that was highly touted for the having four major record labels as partners. QTrax didn't have the backing of a single one of the Big Four, as EMI, Warner, Sony BMG and Universal all confirmed. Warner and Universal are currently talking to the new online music provider.

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 iPod.

"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."

Read the whole story at London Times »

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