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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Liquid Audio to Start Selling Online Music System in Japan
  • December 10, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Liquid Audio Inc. of the United States will enter Japan with sales of its technology to distribute music content over the Internet, according to Robert Flynn, a company vice president.
    The company plans to increase the number of sales agents handling Liquid Audio, its system to distribute music content via the Internet, in Japan, he said.

    The company seeks to cooperate with major Japanese record companies as well as independent recording labels.

    The technology of Liquid Audio was designed to distribute music content via the Internet, and it also features a capability for recording copyrights and preventing duplication.

    In Japan, music.co.jp., inc. had been selling indie labels and other types of music over the Internet and offering test listening services. However, online sales of music content have been unsuccessful because major record companies decided not to cooperate with the company due to issues over royalties and security.

    On Nov. 26, the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) and the Network Music Rights Conference (NMRC) tentatively agreed on royalties for music distributed over the Internet.

    Because such a legal framework has been established, the Japanese market for the services can grow.

    The U.S. company is promoting online music distribution technology and business models to major record companies, including Toshiba-EMI Ltd. and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

    Also, it has started negotiating with organizations of copyright authorizers such as JASRAC and the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) as well as manufacturers of electric appliances, including Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and Sharp Corp.

    Flynn said that the company has completed its technical and marketing research in Japan. He expects that some companies will soon adopt the Liquid Audio technology.

    Related story: Music Copyright Agency to Start Rights Brokering Business

    (Nikkei Multimedia)

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    Updated: Wed Dec 9 12:46:29 1998 PDT