BMI grants music licences to MSN, Yahoo

US performing rights organisation Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) has forged a long-term deal granting music licensing rights to Microsoft's MSN Music and Yahoo, in a move that highlights the industry's desire to legitimise music on the internet.

          US performing rights organisation Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) has forged a long-term deal granting music licensing rights to Microsoft's MSN Music and Yahoo, in a move that highlights the industry's desire to legitimise music on the internet.

          Although the financial details were not disclosed, the agreement gives the two internet titans access to the performance rights of BMI's catalogue of over 4.5 million songs and musical works.

          Royalties collected from public performances on the Yahoo and MSN sites will be distributed to the songwriters, composers and music publishers that BMI represents, the organisation says.

          The deal adds another feather in the caps of the internet companies, which are currently gunning for position in the burgeoning net music market. Yahoo recently unveiled its new music offering, Launch, offering users streaming music, downloads and artist news and information. Launch's music download subscription service is not yet available, however, because it is being provided by the still-unveiled Pressplay service, backed by Vivendi Universal and Sony Music Entertainment. Ditto for MSN Music, which has also signed a deal with the service.

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