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David Bowie is to be "the first major recording artist" to release an album online, before it goes on sale in the shops. (Or so his record company claims. What would Public Enemy have to say about that?) The techie friendly star has already set up his own ISP, Bowienet. The album will be available online in three weeks time -- a fortnight ahead of general release. But just because it is online doesn't mean its free. Fans will have to hand over credit card details before being able to download the album. And before ideas of free copies for friends get hatched, it is worth mentioning that there is an electronic copyright written into the album. The singer will sacrifice chart success by selling online. CIN, the body responsible for producing the official chart, does not recognise online sales. Bowie says that he hopes that by selling his album online, he will blaze the trail for online sales' inclusion in charts. He told the Daily Mail: "I couldn't be more pleased to have the opportunity of moving the music industry closer to the process of making digital download available as the norm, not the exception." ® Daily net finance news from The Register

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