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UMG TO BEGIN
DIGITAL DOWNLOADING

Step One: Teach Record Execs How To Turn On Their Own Computers
Universal Music Group, the world's largest record label with about a 30% share of the U.S. marketplace, is expected to begin offering digital downloads over the Internet this week, according to published and online reports.

Reuters reports encryption provider InterTrust, a UMG partner, and music group executives were unavailable for comment. There was no indication which artists or how much of UMGs catalog would be made available.

UMG will become the third of the five majors to begin offering portions of its catalog for sale digitally. Sony Music, which offers songs by a handful of artists on its Web site, was the first, and earlier this month, EMI began its deployment.

BMG is expected to start offering digital downloads this summer, while Warner Music Group will make its move in the fourth quarter.

Universal's decision comes in the wake of the much-publicized court battles between the record labels and song-swapping company Napster and online music distributor MP3.com.

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