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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Legal music sites break 100 mark
By Darren Waters
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Napster UK screenshot
Napster launched in the UK last week
The number of legal online music services world-wide has broken through the 100 barrier.

The global music industry made the announcement as it celebrated the first anniversary of its downloading education website, pro-music.org.

The website features a directory of all the legal services and explains the industry's legal standpoint on downloading music.

Music industry boss Jay Berman said: "This is a symbolic mark."

The industry has been criticised for being slow to react to the demand for online music but Mr Berman said that had changed.

'Legitimate demand'

The chairman and chief executive of the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry told BBC News Online: "There are enough download services now to satisfy every legitimate demand for online music."

He said that in the year since the website pro-music.org had launched "the number of services has increased dramatically, the repertoire of songs has increased dramatically, the number of users has increased dramatically".

When the site launched in May 2003, there were 20 legal online music sites which offered an average of 200,000 songs.

The average site now offers in excess of 500,000 tracks to music fans.

High-profile sites such as iTunes and Napster, which launched in the UK last week, have become lucrative brand names in the last 12 months.

In the UK, music retailers such as Virgin and HMV have launched sites, while Coca Cola has a service and even charity Oxfam has unveiled its own.

Mr Berman said the industry still had a long way to go to educate people about the rights and wrongs of downloading music.

"Education requires staying the course," he said.




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