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MP3.com Strikes Preliminary Deal with Music Publishers

MP3.com (www.mp3.com) said Wednesday that it signed a preliminary $30 million licensing deal with The National Music Publishers' Association's (NMPA) Harry Fox Agency.

The terms of the license call for a payment of one-quarter cent each time a song is streamed on demand to a customer from their My.MP3.com locker, along with a one-time fee per track.

MP3.com will pay up to $30,000,000 to music publishers and songwriters in a proposed, three-year licensing arrangement. Two funds will be created; one will be used to pay the Harry Fox Agency's principals for past uses of music on the My.MP3.com service, while the second will provide advance payments toward royalties.

In September, a federal judge ruled that MP3.com would have to pay about $250 million in damages to Universal Music Group for copyright infringement. MP3.com had earlier settled suits with the other four music labels, Sony, BMG, EMI and Warner.

Contingent upon the finalization of this agreement, the music publishers will settle their copyright infringement suit against MP3.com.

"The Internet has certainly posed many difficult music publishing issues and this agreement with the NMPA and Harry Fox is a giant step for all consumers who want to simply be able to listen to music they already own,'' said Robin Richards, president and chief negotiator for MP3.com, in a statement. "We believe the digital music space, through this agreement, has been thrust forward by the music publishers. Today the American public won."

"This is a triple win -- for music creators, Internet music service providers, and consumers," said Edward P. Murphy, president and CEO of the NMPA.

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