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"The settlement agreement clearly affirms the right of copyright owners to be compensated for the use of their works on the Internet."
—WMG's Paul Vidich
THE POST-SETTLEMENT SPIN
MP3.com, BMG, WMG Execs Comment On Deal
Joint press releases were e-mailed from San Diego early this morning, substantiating the story we broke yesterday about MP3.com's pacts with BMG Entertainment and Warner Music Group. They contained the requisite statements from the principals, which cumulatively hit all the key strategic notes.

Characterizing the deal as "a good settlement for both parties," BMG Chief Marketing Officer and President New Technology kevin conroy',390,400);">kevin conroy',390,400);">Kevin Conroy said, "As we build our global digital distribution platform, we are interested in working with responsible Internet companies that help us create new avenues for music fans to access their favorite music in a way that protects our artists' rights."

According to WMG Exec VP, Strategic Planning and Business Development Paul Vidich, "This is an important moment for recording artists and copyright owners. This settlement ends an unfortunate period in our history with MP3.com… The settlement agreement clearly affirms the right of copyright owners to be compensated for the use of their works on the Internet."

MP3.com President Robin Richards, chief negotiator for the netco, stated that the deals brought stability to the digital-music domain "from a consumer-marketing, royalty-tracking and copyright-protection perspective," while calling the settlement "a giant step forward for MP3.com, the digital music space, artists and consumers."

MP3.com Chairman/CEO michael robertson',390,400);">michael robertson',390,400);">Michael Robertson, who who conducted a "Fireside Chat" at EAT'M (during which he gave props to our humble site, but that's another story), pushed "value" in his remarks. "There is value for all Internet companies to work cooperatively with the record industry to build new business models together."

The next logical step for MP3.com? A post-deal business plan encompassing these new realities. Will the company attempt to charge My.MP3.com users a monthly or annual subscription fee?

Those aren't the only questions that remain unanswered. As the noose tightens around copyright infringement, will music netcos like MyPlay, Scour, Napster, and others be forced to follow MP3.com's lead and negotiate deals with the majors? Are the negotiated deal points satisfactory to the other potential players? Since this settlement is being treated as neither radio nor product, how will publishers be compensated? What portion of the licensing fee does the artist see? Will the artist ever see any of the cash?

Meanwhile, as expected, MP3.com stock, which is traded on Nasdaq, continued to rise as news of the two settlements was disseminated. The stock closed today at 19 3/8, an increase of 1 15/16, after reaching a high of 22 1/2 just after the opening of trading. On Tuesday (6/6), before news of the impending settlements spread, the stock closed at 11 5/8.

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