Loudeye Gets Fifth Major Music Label on Board

Loudeye Technologies (www.loudeye.com), a digital media services company announced a licensing and services agreement with EMI Recorded Music. Loudeye now has licensing agreements with all five major music labels, and the company points out that it is one of only two Internet companies to have agreements with all the major labels, and the only one who reached those agreements outside a courtroom.

In addition to the sampling rights, the EMI agreement authorizes Loudeye to store uncompressed digital copies of EMI's music catalog, music videos, associated metadata and cover art for the purpose of supporting Loudeye's digital delivery services.

The agreement allows Loudeye to provide encoded music files tostatutory licensees, as well as to EMI, for its own digital music initiatives.

This announcement falls right before a hearing that will be held before The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property on Thursday May 17.

Lyle Lovett (on behalf of ASCAP), Rob Glaser, CEO RealNetworks, Edgar Bronfman of Vivendi/Univeral, Robin Richards of MP3.com, and Ed Murphy of the National Music Publishers Association, are all scheduled to speak at the hearings. Audio of the proceedings will be streamed online.

Issues that are likely to be addressed, include the licensing fee for streaming audio which the U.S. Copyright Office is deliberating, the various legal battles that have arisen around royalties attached to digital music, and more generally, the obstacles that have arisen in the process of making digital distribution of music a viable and legal business.

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