QTrax signs up with Universal

May 8, 2008 // 9:17 a.m.

Tags: #ad-supported #drm #free #gnutella #p2p #qtrax #umg #universal #universal-music-group

If you've been wondering what happened to the QTrax service after its rather embarrasing launch, then I've got an interesting bit of news: they've finally signed a major label, just five months after launching.

The site, which was launched with the aim of legitimising peer-to-peer music sharing by snagging files from the Gnutella service and wrapping them up in woolly DRM, got off to a bad start when it was forced to admit that it hadn't actually entered into agreements with any record labels, despite claiming signed contracts with the 'Big Four'. The startup is hoping to put all that behind it now, with the ink drying on an agreement with industry bigwigs the Universal Music Group.

It looks like the news might even be true, this time around: CNet has reported a Universal spokesperson as proclaiming that “QTrax will now have access to the most extensive digital music catalogue of chart-topping artists in the world.

QTrax, for its part, is remaining rather quieter about this little success than it did when it launched back in January. Likewise, there is no indication – from QTrax or the labels themselves – that similar agreements with the remaining three industry giants Warner Music Group, Sony BMG, and EMI are forthcoming.

If you were hoping to give the service a whirl, you'll have to cool your jets a while longer: despite there having been a five month delay since QTrax threw their glamorous 'launch' party, the service is still 'coming soon' with the player application available for download but the all-important file sharing aspect disabled until further notice.

Does anyone at this point believe that QTrax is really going to make a successful business off the back of 'free' downloads, or is the agreement with Universal a sign that there might be some meat to the service after all? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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