The Register reports that Napster has won the backing of the UK's Association of Independent Music (AIM) trade organisation with a deal that will allow the digital music download service to offer 50,000 songs from 50 independent labels on a worldwide basis. Meanwhile, UK-based Napster rival Wippit announced yesterday that it has added Sony to its roster of major label content providers. AIM accounts for over 25 per cent of UK music sales and has over 800 members, only a fraction of whom provide tracks through Napster. AIM said it expects many other members to begin licensing their content to Napster in the coming months. Those licences will be administered by Rightsrouter, a company launched by AIM earlier this year to bring copyright holders and digital music services together and to manage the administration of those licences in the digital domain.
Wippit's deal with Sony will provide the download service with "tens of thousands" of tracks, according to sources close to the company though, as with Wippit's arrangement with BMG, signed earlier this year, it can only supply them to buyers in the UK and Ireland. The BMG deal brought 10,000 songs to Wippit's catalogue. Wippit said it expects to make the tracks available "this summer" ― presumably after Sony has opened its own European online music store, Connect, on 7 June. Connect launched in the US earlier this month.
The IPKat notes the momentum which is sweeping digital rights management (DRM) to the fore of music delivery and wonders how entrenched the operation of DRM systems will be before the European Commission’s attempts to control DRM come into fruition as part of its Information Society policy.
Association for Independent Music here, not to be confused with the now defunct US body (AFIM) of the same name.
Sony Connect here; Only Connect here, here and here
Thursday, 13 May 2004
Posted by Jeremy at 9:40:00 am