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Qtrax or Notrax? Qtrax Gets Fuzzy on Label Deals and Site Launch

By: Spacelab Research Staff

Qtrax bills itself as the "world’s first free and legal peer-to-peer (P2P) digital music site," but there seems to be a lot of confusion over what that means right now. I guess it comes down to what the deifinition of 'free' and 'legal' and 'peer-to-peer' means. And the word 'launch.'


Qtrax was set to launch over 25 million songs to download through its own self-styled, ad-supported P2P service, and made announcements and had a kick-off party over the weekend in Cannes at a music conference, but as of launch time on Monday, the site was not ready to go.


A story on Reuters said "The world's biggest music companies, including Warner Music Group Corp and Sony BMG, denied that they have agreed to license songs for a free download service that was launched by Qtrax on Monday."


"Sony BMG can confirm it has not signed a deal with Qtrax for the ad-supported service," said a spokesman for Sony BMG when speaking to Reuters.


So what happened? It looks like the deals weren't completely final, or some sort of technical difficulty has held up the launch. At any rate, after a lot of noise and promotion, the site was not ready for launch and it looks like it might be a while.


Qtrax President and CEO Allan Klepfisz told The Times Online "We are not idiots. We wouldn’t have launched the service in front of the whole music industry unless we had secured its backing. We feel we have been unfairly crucified because a competitor tried to damage us. Everyone is very upset."


"We do have industry agreements including the major labels. Even today we are working on more deals," Mr Klepfisz said. He added that although "ink hadn't dried" on some of the deals, Qtrax still planned to deliver on its promises "within months."

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