What didn't MP3.com tell us?

I am so relieved. MP3.com has just announced a licensing agreement with Universal Music. But now, we should all be relieved to hear that Universal has corrected their momentary lapse of reason and decided to bargain with the ever-popular MP3.com for a licensing deal.

For a while, it seems like MP3.com would be forced out of business just by the sheer weight of lawsuits against it. But now, the Universal deal is only the latest in a series of agreements between MP3.com and record companies. - MP3.com has been able to dispense with these little ditties faster than Derek knocked down his famous dominos.

All is not well in MP3-land, though. MP3.com didn't just sign a licensing deal with Universal -- it paid it $53.4 million -- and gave Universal up to 20% of the company. Smells suspiciously like a settlement -- or even worse, a judgment award.

Maybe MP3.com knew it was going to get hammered in court.

I'll let you be the judge of that. But for now, all appears well in the world. We can all go back to usurping our IT department's bandwidth by downloading songs all day, and all of the night. And hopefully we can forget the fact that somebody just paid $53.4 million dollars to license Universal Music's content. As for me, I'm going to play with Napster.

This story, "What didn't MP3.com tell us?" was originally published by Network World.

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