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Big UK ISP Preps Illegal Music Downloads Commission Deal

Posted: 13th Aug, 2008 By: MarkJ
paidContent:UK reports that Playlouder, a media service provider, is working with one of the largest ISPs in the country to launch an unlimited music service that would see the provider pay record labels for songs illegally downloaded by its customers.

The system would use a form of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) installed on the ISPs network to monitor customer downloads from file-sharing (Peer-2-Peer) services like Gnutella and BitTorrent etc. However, customers would still be required to pay an additional fee for the service, otherwise such downloads would continue to be considered illegal:

“We are confident that we will have something quite good to announce in the next couple of months,” Playlouder Co-founder Paul Sanders said. “We’ve just done another round of (seed) finance from senior figures in the financial community and the music community, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that if we didn’t think there was good news coming down the pipe. We’re starting the process of principal finance, we’re looking for about £4 million; it takes us through to profitability because it will essentially finance this first large ISP deal.”

Sanders said subscriptions would bring a “huge amount more” money to music because customers buy only 2.4 albums a year (approx (£24) but would pay £5 per month (£60 annually) for unlimited access.

The service itself is expected to be ready by early next year, although details surrounding which of the top ISPs is involved remain unclear. However, Virgin Media has reportedly held private talks with Playlouder and they would thus be a fair bet to adopt the service.

Meanwhile other ISPs, such as Sky, are preparing a different mix of music subscription models, which use existing legal download services.
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