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Last updated: January 28, 2008 10:49 pm
The legal downloading service that music executives had seen as a possible white knight for the struggling recorded music industry appeared to stumble .
Qtrax was forced to admit it had no full agreements with the four major recorded music companies to use their material on an advertising supported, free, peer-to-peer downloading site.
At an extravagant launch during the Midem music market in Cannes, Qtrax said it would have 25m to 30m songs to download on its website, which was set to go live at 12.01am local time.
But by 6pm GMT, it was not possible to download songs from the site. A spokesman said it would be active later in the evening.
The confusion over the site, heralded as the potential answer to music’s piracy problems, began when Warner Music contradicted the claim by Qtrax that it had a deal, although it said there had been a signed agreement which had since expired.
It is understood Qtrax gave Sony BMG a “good faith” payment last Friday, but that deals with Universal Music and EMI were still under discussion. A person familiar with the talks at Universal said he expected it to be completed.
After a launch, put at more than $500,000, Qtrax had to retract its claim that it would have all major recorded music on its site.
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