Morpheus MusicCity, a service that allows users to trade copyrighted songs and films, has quietly added an anti-piracy feature to its site, its first move to protect some artists from unlawful downloads of their music.
Beginning in April, Streamcast Networks, the U.S. company that operates the popular site, will add technology to erase a downloaded song from a computer after the user listens to it a certain number of times.
But it will apply the anti-piracy measure only to benefit artists who do business with Morpheus, as it seeks to become a major venue to promote lesser-known, unsigned acts. Users would sample songs but ultimately would have to buy them.
Morpheus said it will invite artists to provide music samples to the service.
"As we roll out this new way of distributing content over the Internet, you will discover how easy it is to get your music out to millions of people without selling your soul to the bank," the site says in trying to entice artist participation.
But it hasn't silenced the critics who maintain the company is still flouting copyright law by facilitating trade in protected pieces.
Elsewhere on the service, users will still be able to swap a variety of copyright-protected materials that are already circulating on the network, from Kylie Minogue singles to digital copies of Harry Potter books.
News source: Wired