Qtrax Music Service: Bunch of Liars?

Qtrax, an online distributor of Internet file-swapping software, has abruptly postponed the launch of its free online music service until it can “finalize music licensing deals,” according to the Associated Press.

They’re putting it kindly. What actually happened was that Qtrax announced last week it signed distribution deals with all four major record labels to provide unlimited, ad-supported music downloads. That would have been an industry first, not to mention a serious challenge to conventional online music stores from Apple, Napster, Amazon, and others.

The problem was that Qtrax was lying. Three of the four major labels: Warner, EMI, and Universal — have since issued statements saying that they actually didn’t have any deals in place with Qtrax at all. (Sony BMG couldn’t be reached in time for the AP article’s publication.)

Qtrax has since “clarified” their statements and said that deals are in the works. Qtrax’s president, Allan Klepfisz, says the launch of the service will be put off “for a short time.” He also maintained that the service had the support of “rightsholders,” according to the report.

Qtrax music service delays debut [AP via CNN]