So, it looks like the 100% legal and free music download website Qtrax has finally pulled off something near to what it claimed to have achieved when it launched to a stutter back in January. Finally one of the major record labels has seen sense, with Universal Music Group putting pen to paper and agreeing to have its catalogue available on the site for nada.
Universal will join TVT Records and Beggars Banquet in a month’s time but only for those in the US. There just had to be a catch, didn’t there?
The tracks will contain elements of DRM-protection but only to keep a count of plays to determine how much to pay each artist in terms of their share of the advertising revenue on Qtrax, which is how the whole operation is funded.
This is a major step towards the estimated 25million tracks online being available for all, for free and forever, as music should be. What’s best, of course, is that the artists will still get paid for their work and everybody’s happy.
The service is only currently available to Windows users but a Mac-friendly version of the P2P system will be coming soon. Now let’s just hope they get their arse into gear and sort out a piece of the pie for us over here in Europe.
Qtrax (via Wired)