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“It’s the money, stupid,” might well be the motto for content owners who are beginning to sign licensing deals with Internet music firms. At least that’s the view of Monica P. McCabe, who recently helped put together the licensing agreement between British music giant EMI Group and Streamwaves.com of Dallas, announced on Nov. 20. McCabe, a copyright and licensing specialist in the New York office of Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe, said that the Napster copyright infringement litigation has changed the landscape. Content owners have realized that “it’s better to make money and allow somebody like Napster to provide” music over the Internet “than not to make any money” and lose potential customers. MEETING DEMAND “The record companies are changing their polices, rethinking how much will be delivered,” she said. They’ve looked at the popularity of music sites on the Internet, and “they realize there’s a demand out there for this stuff. All the record companies are getting into this game one way or another.” The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, but EMI Group represents a sizable stable of recording companies and artists whose work, under the agreement, will be made available for online listening to those who pay Streamwaves a monthly subscription fee. McCabe said that her client Streamwaves is “still working on a pricing structure” that will allow subscribers to create their own playlists and listen to them as much as they want from their computers. The technology does not allow the music to be downloaded, and the Streamwaves site will feature links to various retail sources from which CDs can be purchased. EMI’s end of the negotiations was handled by Robyn L. Glaser, vice president for business and legal affairs at EMI Recorded Music in Hollywood, Calif. Glaser declined to comment on the licensing agreement.

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