Qtrax’s claim of having ‘all major labels’ disputed, no deals signed with Warner, EMI, Universal

“A revamped online file-sharing service that promised to offer unlimited, free music downloads from all the major record labels hit an apparent snag Sunday after one denied it had given the service permission,” The Associated Press reports.

“Qtrax touted in a press release Sunday morning that it was the first Internet file-swapping service to be “fully embraced by the music industry,” and boasted it would carry up to 30 million tracks from ‘all the major labels,'” AP reports.

“New York-based Warner Music undermined that claim, declaring in a statement that it ‘has not authorized the use of our content on Qtrax’s recently announced service,'” AP reports. “Universal Music Group and EMI Group PLC later confirmed they did not have licensing deals in place with Qtrax, noting discussions were still ongoing. A call to Sony BMG Music Entertainment was not immediately returned.”

AP reports, “Allan Klepfisz, Qtrax’s president and chief executive, acknowledged Sunday that the deal with Warner Music had not been signed, but said he expects to reach an agreement on terms ‘shortly.'”

AP reports, “‘With everybody else, we have agreed on all terms,’ he added, noting that in some cases, deals had yet to be formally signed.”

Full article here.

Off on the wrong foot immediately and sounding more than a little shady. First you sign the deals, then you issue the press release. When you try to do it vice versa, expect some serious trust issues from all sides.

[Update: 1:32pm EST: See related from The Evening Standard: Free music downloads site in chaos as record giants pull out| News | This is London]


  1. Qtrax… poor company. First they had it all, they all signed up. Now they flip-flopped and blame Qtrax for not formalising any agreement.

    Honestly, as one Australian said,

    “You create trash music, aimed at teenagers that have no money and with internet access, what did you expect?”

    If the music industry is calling downloaders theives, I’d call them theives of parents… dare they make me pay for my kid’s stupid songs

  2. Here’s why I will probably NEVER use Qtrax:

    1. They probably won’t ever get around to making a Mac version. 5 years of development and they don’t have a mac version? Are they owned and operated by microsoft? WOW.

    2. They expect ME to become part of their distribution model without competition? I don’t know the details, but Peer-to-Peer (to me) means that whenever I run their software, it will force me to share music on my computer. Sorry – NO WAY. Unless I can download without uploading – forget it.

    3. Something Apple knows is that people like me HATE Commercials. I hate the previews at the beginning of DVDs (guys, their out of date in 3 months and pointless), I hate banner ads on news sites, and I don’t sit through TV commercials (I change channels). Part of why the iTunes Store is so great is the lack of pointless ads. Qtrax will most likely devote over 50% of it’s screen to advertising.

    Strike Three.

  3. If the three biggest music labels (Universal, EMI, & Warner) aren’t debuting their music on the QTrax service then this will be a bust. Besides, who knows what kind of advertisements they’ll throw at you, and is it even available for Mac? Probably not. This gimmick won’t last.

  4. Here’s why Qtrax could be a phenomenal success:

    1. Windoze users (excuse me, sufferers) are stupid. Studies have proven it (not that we needed a study – they DO use windoze afterall). They won’t even notice the slow down as 300 people at a time pull music from their machine.

    2. Windoze sufferers are used to accepting inferior quality goods and services. They won’t care that the file they end up with sounds pathetic. Hell – they probably won’t even notice with all those crappy sounding wmv files.

    3. Windoze sufferers actually enjoy getting viruses. It’s true! how ELSE could you explain people whose PeeCees are SO infected that they have to scrap it and buy a new one – and get another PeeCee!! Peer to Peer opens up a whole new vector for viral attacks. Windoze users will rejoice when they get hosed and still get their free “Hootie and the Blowfish” fix.

    The only thing that could derail this train is if more people switch to macs and begin expecting more.

  5. issue #2:

    “up to 30 million tracks”. This is an interesting and unusually large number.

    Exactly where did the 30 million come from? All songs ever recorded, including those that are currently not available for sale and with essentially no chance of ever being for sale?

    Why don’t they add in expected future recordings – that would juice the numbers even more ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    How many do they really expect to have for sale when they start? And, to give them a break, in a year?

    Any other figures are irrelevant.

  6. “Downloads however come with copy-protection technology known as digital-rights management, or DRM, to prevent users from burning copies to a CD and calculate how to divvy up advertising sales with labels.”

    Do you want to “own” a file that you can’t ever burn to a CD? I still do sometimes burn them to CD’s and this would be terribly annoying.

  7. So, if you count out the 4 major record labels in the world because QTRAX HASNT SIGNED ANY AGREEMENT WITH THEM means that they will have around 10,000 songs to ‘legally’ download on launch day.

    1st lesson of business Qtrax… ALWAYS get the contract signed BEFORE announcing to the world’s press that you have the labels on board.

    Basic stuff guys.. I think you need a basic business course or at least a dose of COMMON SENSE.

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