MP3 lives with Harry Fox and Rykodisc deals

MP3 moved a step closer to respectability today with the announcement that GoodNoise and Rykodisc have signed a deal to sell music in the MP3 format.

GoodNoise will be offering 200 tracks from Rycodisc's catalogue of artists, including the entire Frank Zappa catalogue, jazz, country and world music. Tracks will be downloadable from the GoodNoise Web site and Rykodisc's Web site for 99 cents apiece.

The acceptance of MP3 by one of the US's major record labels is a victory for the format previously demonised by the music industry. GoodNoise's vice president of corporate communications Steve Grady is delighted by the deal. "Rykodisc is sticking their toe in the water of MP3. The company recognises that piracy is caused by a vacuum created by the lack of legitimate content."

It has been a week of good news for GoodNoise with the announcement yesterday Harry Fox is to licence the delivery of MP3 music. The agreement ensures the fee for downloaded music will be passed on to the publishers and songwriters.

Harry Fox, part of the National Music Publishers' Association is described by Grady as "an icon" in the music industry and its endorsement of MP3 is an important step.

"The fact Harry Fox is endorsing it is an indication that at least some of the industry see MP3 as the way things are going," said Grady.

It will be a blow for the RIAA who are set on creating an industry standard in opposition to MP3. Grady believes it may have to think again. "This deal is a wake-up call for the RIAA. MP3 is growing by the day and becoming more and more legitimate."


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