Yahoo! has been broadcasting music under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act since 1998. The deal with the RIAA establishes the terms and conditions for music performances made under this license, and covers music made available by Yahoo! through both Yahoo! Radio and Yahoo! Broadcast.
"Our agreement with Yahoo! confirms that music on the Internet will thrive when parties work together," RIAA CEO Hilary Rosen said in a release. "We are committed to Internet broadcasting as an important outlet for music, and we hope that Yahoo!'s initiative will spur others to follow its lead."
The RIAA, which represents labels like Seagram's Universal Music, and Time Warner's Warner Music Group, has fought fiercely to protect copyright online. Most prominent is its suit against Napster, a Web site that facilitates the copying of digital music files.
Record labels have struggled to come up with a way to satisfy users' requests for downloadable music without losing their copyright protection and revenue streams.
A few labels, including Warner, Bertelesman AG's BMG, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI, have struck deals with MP3.com, allowing that company to license their music for online distribution.
However, those deals followed copyright suits by the record companies against MP3.com. A suit with Seagram's Universal Music Group is still pending.
"We are glad to have an agreement with the RIAA which fairly compensates both artists and record companies, while continuing to provide our listeners with an entertaining online music experience," Yahoo! president Jeff Mallett said in a release.
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