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CopyrightAgent Finds Web Music Freeloaders

Copyright.net, Nashville, recently announced a system that finds viewers who are downloading copyrighted music/video content and other intellectual property without authorization.

Called CopyrightAgent, the system notifies clients — most likely publishing houses and Internet service providers — about each violation concerning them.

The system is targeted at music-oriented firms. However, Copyright.net said it will increasingly market to video firms as broadband technology becomes more prevalent.

On the music end, the system sends e-mails to Internet users downloading songs owned by Copyright.net clients. The e-mails include a hyperlink that will send users to www.copyright.net to possibly purchase the tunes for 7.5 cents each. Song publishers are then paid.

However, record companies also hold legal rights to songs available at downloading sites. Copyright.net pitched its system to the Recording Industry Association of America, but it declined to sign an agreement. As a result, song purchases made at the site do not cover the legal rights owned by the record companies.

Copyright.net said it will urge users to contact members of Congress about legalizing the downloading and sharing of copyrighted music.

Clients will be charged a licensing fee for CopyrightAgent.

Terms of such agreements were not disclosed.

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