EMI Joins Universal, Sony, On Authorized Music Sharing

    May 5, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A deal inked with tech firm Snocap links EMI with the two largest music companies and may lead to legal peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing.

The Snocap technology recognizes songs and will be able to manage their usage on a P2P network. A licensor like EMI could designate a song as freely tradable or only playable a few times by a user.

Snocap’s founder is a familiar name, probably the familiar name, in P2P sharing. Shawn Fanning’s work led to the inception of Napster and resulted in the illicit trading of millions of songs before being shut down and reincarnated in a more legal form.

But Snocap isn’t Napster. It is a clearinghouse for music licensing rights, where authorized access to a music company’s library can be managed.

File sharing services that sign up with Snocap can identify and charge for tracks as they are traded. Should demand exist for an unlicensed track, ie one that is being actively traded without being authorized by the rights-holder, Snocap can report on that, and the rights-holder can license that tune for trade.

Without a severe legal crackdown on P2P sharing, Snocap may not garner interest from P2P networks in joining its service.

Though Snocap seems to want to be the iTunes of P2P, the various free networks will need serious compulsion to change their existing models.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.