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Creation postpones MP3 sales scheme

Sony Music demands delay -- and gets it

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Creation Records, one of the UK's largest independent records labels, has postponed plans to sell and distribute music via the Internet thanks to pressure from Sony Music. According to today's Financial Times, Sony, which owns 49 per cent of Creation, asked the indie label to delay the release of music tracks online until it had sorted out its own system for digital distribution. Creation's band list includes Oasis, Primal Scream, Bob Mould, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Ronnie Spector. This is the second time Sony has scotched Creation's plans to sell music and CDs via the Internet. Last summer, Creation announced plans to sell albums via its Web site, but soon after limited those sales solely to domestic buyers under pressure from Sony, which has exclusive rights to sell Creation titles overseas. Creation's plans to distribute music digitally emerged last November (see Oasis' record label plans pay-per-download music sales). Late last year, the company also said it would begin offering singles in MP3 format a month ahead of their release on disc (see Creation to distribute MP3 singles free via Web). The programme was due to begin early this year, but as yet the site only offers 30-second RealAudio excerpts. Another sign of Sony's interference? ®

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