Qtrax hits roadblock in effort to launch legal P2P

The self-proclaimed legal file sharing service is either not so legal or not so sharing: None of the big four music labels have agreements with the service, according to news reports.

Qtrax had planned to launch at midnight Monday, but with its latest round of troubles, it missed its initial launch date. All four major record producers say that while they are in negotiations with the service, none of them have signed final agreements.

In a late press release, Qtrax attempted to dance around the launch issue, arguing it had launched, just without the registration keys. There's just one problem -- that registration key is required to play any songs downloaded from the service.

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On Sunday, both Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group said publicly that they have not authorized Qtrax to sell their music, and that was followed on Monday by similar comments from Sony BMG and EMI.

Warner and UMG's comments came shortly after Qtrax boasted in a press released that it was the first peer-to-peer download service to be "fully embraced by the music industry."

The legal P2P service had promised free and legal music downloads from major labels and artists, but without these agreements the site can not move forward with that pledge. The service's CEO called the comments a "tempest in a teacup."

Qtrax in its previous incarnation only existed for a few months in 2002 as it shut down amid an increasingly hostile legal environment for P2P companies at that time.

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