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MP3.com Gets Music License With BMI

MP3.com may have been down last week but it's certainly not out. In fact, things are certainly looking up. Early last week MP3.com announced the launch of its first subscription music channel (classical music) for $9.95 a month.

And after the bell on Friday, MP3.com ( http://www.mp3.com) announced that it has reached a licensing agreement with Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), a performing rights organization. (BMI represents more than 140,000 U.S. songwriters and composers andover 60,000 publishers.) This means that MP3.com will be able to offer 4.5 million compositions from BMI's stable of artists.

This is big news.

So big in fact, that investors were real happy. On Monday MP3.com gained back all of its losses on the Nasdaq after it lost its case against the RIAA last week.

"This is a monumental day for MP3.com, BMI, songwriters, publishers andthe Internet as a whole," said Robin Richards, president of MP3.com. "BMIdemonstrated today that they are indeed an industry leader and also that BMIhas the vision to usher-in and embrace responsible new technologies that willcatapult the industry into the coming century."

Last week also saw "legitimate" (i.e. secure) music companies like Liquid Audio making digs against MP3.com. It announced that three more indie music labels were using Liquid's "secure internet delivery" distribution network. The press release went on to point out that "1,400" independent labels were using Liquid Audio. Take that, MP3.com.

In other music news last week, Sony and Universal announced a joint partnership to develop a subscription-based music service. Might the labels turn to MP3.com to help out? Stay tuned.

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