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Monday, 6 August, 2001, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Online music bill 'meets disapproval'
The music industry is in uproar over the 'Napster friendly' bill
Legislation has been proposed in US Congress which will prevent music companies from undercutting their rivals when dealing with online ventures, according to trade newspaper Variety.

The Music Online Competition Act (MOCA) is aimed at preventing major recording labels from controlling the distribution of songs on the internet by giving special deals to certain online services they are affiliated with.

This bill has something for everyone. And it also has provisions that will give various members of the music industry heartburn.

Chris Cannon
The news comes as two major music subscription services prepare to make their online debut in the next few months.

Musicnet is backed by AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann and EMI. Pressplay is the brainchild of Vivendi Universal and Sony.

'Troubling signs'

Chris Cannon, one of the backers of the MOCA legislation, told Variety: "There are troubling signs that the recording industry - as a group - may have chosen not to license music content for tactical reasons in an attempt to stifle competition."

He added that the bill has "something for everyone" but that it also has provisions which will "give various members of the music industry heartburn."

But proposals prompted objections from the music industry, from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and several smaller companies.

We hope that MOCA will be the shot of coffee this nascent industry needs

Manus Cooney
Napster Vice President
RIAA president Hilary Rosen told Variety that online music services should be allowed to develop according to market forces and not be pre-regulated by Congress.

Napster, meanwhile, welcomed the new bill. Its vice president Manus Cooney, said: "We hope that MOCA will be the shot of coffee this nascent industry needs."

It is believed that the bill will be heard in September.

See also:

31 Jul 01 | New Media
Negotiators join web royalty row
24 Jul 01 | New Media
AOL launches online music services
24 Jul 01 | New Media
New boss for Napster
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