Second online music service launches with EMI onboard
NEW YORK - Pressplay, which offers music from three of the five major labels, launched its online subscription service on Tuesday. The launch came on the same day that MusicCity – one of three file-sharing companies hoping to spoil the major labels' party – asked a U.S. federal court to declare its free service legal.
Pressplay – which offers songs from Sony, EMI and Universal artists – is the second fee-based service released by the five major record labels. MusicNet – run by EMI, Warner and BMG – launched in December (previous TDR article).
Pressplay will be available through affiliates MP3.com, Roxio, Yahoo and MSN.
One drawback of both Pressplay and MusicNet is that neither service offers a full catalog of music from all five labels.
However, a larger problem looms with the uncertainty surrounding the embattled file-sharing companies. That's because both Pressplay and MusicNet may be destined to fail unless services such as MusicCity – which enable people to share music files for free – are shut down.
Napster, the most recognized system, was ordered to close by a federal court judge. But sprouting up to fill the void were several alternatives. That prompted the record labels, music publishers and movie studios to lash back with two lawsuits last October that could bankrupt the companies that created the networks.
The lawsuits, if successful, would help entertainment conglomerates receive billions of dollars in damages for copyright infringement. A legal victory would also send a warning to others hoping to build the next Napster.
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