dotmusic leads the way with legal right to play music clips

- Online industry music magazine, dotmusic, has become the first UK Website to sign blanket licensing deals with major record companies for the right to play music clips.

- Online industry music magazine, dotmusic, has become the first UK Website to sign blanket licensing deals with major record companies for the right to play music clips.

dotmusic now has the right to up-load sound samples from the entire EMI, Virgin, WEA and East West catalogues.

These ground-breaking deals represent an important milestone in the music industry's war against Internet piracy, according to dotmusic editor-in-chief Steve Redmond.

"Although there are thousands of Internet sites featuring samples of music, virtually none of them have bothered to seek official licences and are illegal," he says.

dotmusic, which can be found at www.dotmusic.com, is the Internet sister to Music Week magazine and was the first music magazine on the Net to be launched by a UK publisher. However, it is one of the last to add sound samples.

Jeremy Silver, vice president of interactive media at EMI International, says: "We are very keen to establish proper business terms for the use of our music and graphics on commercially run Websites. The licence protects the intellectual property of our labels and artists, so it's an important step in the right direction."

Warner Music business affairs manager Steve Lazarus, said: "We are anxious to see this new opportunity properly regulated so as to protect copyright owners and at the same time encourage new forms of exploitation of copyright works."

dotmusic already has licences from the Performing Right Society and the MCPS to ensure publishers' and songwriters' rights are protected, and is currently in negotiation with other major companies about licences, and in talks with the BPI about ways to encourage other music sites to go legal.