Napster, the world’s largest file sharing service, and Loudeye Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of services and infrastructure for the authorized delivery of digital content, have entered into a multi-year strategic agreement.
Loudeye is providing digital “fingerprints” and associated descriptive data, or metadata, to Napster for use in its planned membership service, which is slated to launch this summer. Additionally, Loudeye’s service offering will support Napster’s compliance efforts to filter noticed copyrighted content from its current service.
Using fingerprint technology provided by Napster, Loudeye will generate unique digital signatures, or fingerprints, for a music catalog representing more than two million tracks. Loudeye is providing this service by combining its catalog with new releases as part of its ongoing licensing relationships with the five major music companies and several hundred independent labels. By integrating the descriptive metadata licensed from Loudeye, these fingerprints will allow Napster to verify the identity of files shared on its network.
“Loudeye’s contribution is key to enabling Napster to create a membership- based file-sharing experience,” said Napster CEO Hank Barry. “Loudeye’s fingerprints and metadata will ultimately help us track millions of unique music files on our service, so we can fulfill our commitment to compensate artists, songwriters, music publishers and record companies.”
“The Napster agreement demonstrates the power and scalability of Loudeye’s digital music infrastructure and service capabilities,” said John T. Baker, Loudeye chief executive officer. “Napster is committed to deploying sophisticated technology to build their business, and to protect the interests of copyright holders. I am delighted that Loudeye is supporting those efforts.”
Napster has already received fingerprints and descriptive data from Loudeye and is working to implement fingerprint-based filtering. In addition to previously released works, fingerprints and descriptive data for newly released material will be added on a weekly basis.