Free Legal Music anyone ?,22606,23114989-5006301,00.html

A REVOLUTIONARY online music service offering free song downloads will launch today.

Qtrax, a file-sharing site funded by advertisers and backed by the pop industry, will initially boast a five-million-song catalogue – similar to iTunes.
And its Melbourne pioneer said the plan is to eventually deliver about 25 million free songs to music lovers.

The site, launched in Cannes, France, with stars James Blunt and LL Cool J, is predicted to signal the death knell for CDs and a massive challenge to iTunes.

“This will change music profoundly,” Qtrax chief Allan Klepfisz said.

“Once the genie is out of the bottle, the industry won’t turn back. The time has come for free music.”

Significantly, major record companies, which have traditionally sued file sharing or peer-to-peer (P2P) sites, support Qtrax.

Qtrax has licensing agreements with the majors – EMI, SonyBMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group – allowing access to about five million songs.

The same catalogue is on sale at the popular online music store, iTunes.

Mr Klepfisz, 52, has been working on Qtrax for eight years, initially in Melbourne and more recently in his New York base.

Artists and record labels were supporting Qtrax to stem a losing fight against stolen music, he said.

And Qtrax would compensate artists unlike illegal music download sites, he said.

Record companies will get an equal split of advertising revenue and royalty fees it collects from Qtrax. A recent music industry report by Jupiter Research said for every song sold online, 100 were stolen.

Ninety-four per cent of those online were unwilling to pay for music, the report added.

“I think the record companies realise their attempts to make up for lost sales are not working,” Mr Klepfisz said. “The compact disc – as the main conveyer of mainstream music – is dead. So they need to look for alternatives. They need to see whether this vast mass of people can be brought into a legal arena and monetised with advertisers.”

Mr Kelpfisz said punters were still willing to pay for concert tickets and merchandise. “But they are not willing to pay for music online,” he said.

“The idea of free music is not so radical. Commercial radio and free-to-air television is paid for by advertisers and available for free to consumers.”

In the US, observers said Qtrax posed the first real threat to the Apple-owned iTunes. But Mr Klepfisz expects Qtrax will affect illegal P2P sites more and boost sales of iPods.

As the site expands it would add rare, unreleased and live concert recordings, he said.

“We plan to have north of 25 million songs,” Mr Klepfisz said.

Eagles star Don Henley and Annie Lennox have also been in talks to appear at today’s launch.

Punters will be able to access free music after the launch at

Brilliant stuff :slight_smile:

Will be interesting to see its actual implementation and what the real world limits are.

Edit: If you read the terms and conditions, it says words to the effect that they use the gnutella network, they are not responsible for the content on the network, and it is down to the user to only download what they are legally able to. I thought that they could have essentially created a more “closed” system with only official files on it which would remove any ambiguity.

I think the model that Peter Gabriel is doing is far better tbh, the one where for the first few times of play you get to listen to adverts.


Not looking so promising for the moment…

BBC were not painting a good picture for it on this evenings news

online now… :smiley:


radio 1 were slating it today sounds like all these signed contracts were just in negotiation stage, the product just launched itself with lots of publicity thats for sure. not sure its all good publicity.

I wouldn’t trust the thing as far as I can projectile Vomit…anythign free is too good to be true.

Stealing is stealing,
and if you want somthing free you can get it.
but if you are caught there will be consiquenses,

places like itunes rock you can download single mp3’s for mega low prices.
qtrax i cant see lasting for long at all,
they will loose far too much money.

majorily agree, nothing is free in this world…