In yet another attempt to get the music industry to accept MP3 as a legitimate music distribution format, online retailer GoodNoise is linking up with a publisher to ensure that artists get royalties for tracks sold over the Internet.
GoodNoise has teamed up with The Harry Fox Agency, a subsidiary of the National Music Publishers' Association that represents over 20,000 music publishers worldwide.
Regular reports on the number of tracks downloaded from GoodNoise's Web site will be published and The Harry Fox Agency will be paid an appropriate sum - believed to be around 7 cents per song.
GoodNoise plans to monitor downloads by embedding a digital signature, called a multimedia identifier (MMI), in all the tracks registering the songwriter and a licensing number. GoodNoise said it expects other online music distributors to follow suit.
Edward Murphy, chief executive of The Harry Fox Agency said in a statement that "as customer demand for music distributed in downloadable formats continues to expand, music publishers need to feel comfortable that they will be appropriately compensated."
GoodNoise is expected to start selling tracks with MMI before the end of the year.
Analysts believe GoodNoise's move is good news for MP3, the music compression format that has come under fire from record company heavyweights because they believe it makes it easy to pirate tracks on the Internet.
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