Qtrax finally signs major record label

Four months after claiming it had signed licensing deals with all four of the top music companies, only to see the labels deny it, the startup pens agreement with Universal Music Group.

Qtrax, the legal P2P music start-up, really has signed a licensing agreement with a major label this time.

On Tuesday, the company announced it has inked a deal with Universal Music Group, the largest of the four major record companies. The partnership comes four months after the labels denied the company's claim that they had agreed to supply music for the site.

"Qtrax will now have access to the most extensive digital music catalog of chart-topping artists in the world," Universal Music Group said in a statement.

Qtrax, an ad-supported P2P service, didn't ballyhoo the news this time. The service, designed to offer a legal alternative to illegal file sharing, instead quietly issued a brief press release. This is in marked contrast to the way the company launched the site in January--with a star-studded party and lots of breathless quotes from executives.

The press punished the company when it was revealed that Qtrax possessed no signed contracts with any of the four top music companies.

A Qtrax spokeswoman declined to comment, so there's no word on when it might sign the other three labels.

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