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UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP PUTS ITS MONEY IN MUSICBANK

Opts For Musicbank over David Crosby's Sperm Bank
Musicbank and Universal Music Group announced a three-year licensing agreement that will provide users secure streaming access to Universal's U.S. catalog.

The service, which will launch this fall, allows users to access, listen to and manage music collections on the Internet without uploading content, much like the controversial MyMP3.com and the legitimate MyPlay. The system verifies users' music content to make sure it's from a legitimate source. Although it is a non-exclusive deal, UMG has yet to settle with MP3.com after the company has already cut deals with BMG and Warner Music Group and is reportedly in negotiation with both EMI and Sony.

Musicbank will deliver service via Real Networks technology. It will eventually offer access through digital cable TV, wireless infrastructure and satellite service networks.

Musicbank Co-founder/Chairman Pierce Ledbetter said: "We've constructed this deal with Universal Music Group to provide the next generation of music access and flexibility for consumers while ensuring that everyone is protected and everyone wins: artists, copyright holders, retailers and consumers."

Musicbank has struck similar deals with BMG Entertainment and Virgin Megastores.

In addition, Universal has made an equity investment in Musicbank's online music service and orderedseveral subscriptions to Girls In BikinisAnd Their Music Lockers magazine.

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