Sun, Nov 04, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Warner snubs online Nokia music service


Nokia Corp's new Britain-based online music service launched this week with more than 2 million songs, including tracks from every major record label except one: Warner Music Group Corp, home to artists such as Green Day, Linkin Park and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

New York-based Warner refused to license its music for the service, taking issue with Nokia's operation of a file-sharing Web site called Mosh, an executive familiar with the negotiations between the two companies said on Friday on condition of anonymity, citing the confidential nature of the talks.

Nokia launched a "beta" version of Mosh, which stands for "mobilize and share," in August.

Warner insisted that Nokia promise not to promote Mosh alongside its paid music offerings, the executive said.

Bill Plummer, Nokia's vice president of multimedia for North America, declined to comment on Friday on the details of the company's negotiations with Warner, but said talks with the company were ongoing in "good faith and good spirit."

A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment.

Warner's decision to remain outside the Nokia Music Store highlights the increasingly uneasy relationships among record labels and other entertainment companies and online hubs for user-generated content.

YouTube and similar sites thrive from traffic created by computer users uploading all kinds of media files -- including many copyrighted songs and videos.

Typically, media companies insist that files uploaded without permission by copyright holders be removed, and YouTube recently reached a formal agreement with major industry players on the issue.

The wrinkle this time is Mosh is entirely separate from Nokia's music portal.

Now, a major label that does have content for sale on the Nokia Music Store is prepared to pull out unless Nokia shows it can beef up its measures to keep unauthorized content off Mosh, said a different executive, who works for a music company and is familiar with the discussions with Nokia.

Nokia was to meet with several record labels as early as next week to discuss the matter, that executive said on condition of anonymity because details of the talks with Nokia were confidential.

Asked about those plans, Plummer said: "We have an ongoing dialogue with our partners."

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