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Universal Music to license songs for protected downloading

Universal Music Group has licensed songs from its stable of artists, including U2 and Eminem to a company that has developed technology designed to prevent the unauthorized distribution of audio tracks over online file-sharing networks, the Associated Press reported.

The record company signed the deal with San Francisco-based Snocap with an eye toward eventually having its music sold over one or more file-sharing networks.

The filtering technology developed by Snocap, which was launched by Shawn Fanning, creator of the original Napster file-swapping network, has generated interest as a way to make a recording company-friendly file-sharing network a reality.

Sony BMG Entertainment has also been in talks to sell its music on a new file-sharing service dubbed “Mashboxxx.” That service is expected to use technology to block computer users from trading copyright songs without permission, but would allow them to download promotional or restricted versions of songs at no charge. It is expected to debut early next year, the AP said.

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