to pay songwriters 
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Thursday, 19 October 2000

The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), The Harry Fox Agency and recently announced their agreement of a licensing arrangement that -- if approved by individual HFA music publisher principals -- will permit the use of over one million musical compositions on's popular service. The service allows consumers to listen to music from CDs that they already own or which they purchase from's retail partners.

This proposed, 3-year licensing arrangement provides that will pay upwards of thirty million dollars to the Harry Fox Agency for the benefit of approximately 25,000 music publishers and their songwriting partners as part of two equal funds. One fund will be used to pay HFA publisher-principals for past uses of music on the service. The other will provide advance payments toward royalties earned under the prospective license. The number of songs licensed to by the music publishers could potentially exceed one million.

In March of 2000, was sued by MPL communications Inc. and Peer International Corporation over copyright infringement. The final settlement of the case, currently pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, is conditioned upon the finalization of this licensing arrangement. The terms of the prospective license calls for a payment of one quarter cent each time a song is streamed on demand to a customer from his or her "locker" along with a one-time fee per track added to the service.

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