Los Angeles – Merlin, a group formed to represent the rights
of independent record labels, is in talks with Google (NASD:  GOOG) on licensing tracks for a
forthcoming Google music service, according to an email from Merlin CEO Charles
Caldas sent to Merlin members. "Merlin has had significant concerns that
independents have been excluded form these discussions and that historically,
services which follow this development path typically tend to in our view to
discriminate against independents (e.g. MySpace Music and You Tube) both in
terms of the commercial terms they are eventually offered and also in the
structuring of the major record company agreements," Caldas writes in the

"We now hope to achieve a Merlin agreement with Google on behalf of
our members, which both addresses those concerns and reflects fully and
properly the value of our members’ repertoire via a Merlin license."

Labels represented by Merlin include Rough Trade, Warp, Epitaph, Naxos, Beggars Group, Merge, Domino and One Little Indian.

reports in 2010 indicated Google had commenced licensing talks with the major
record labels, as well as with music publishers’ licensing group the Harry Fox
Agency, in preparation to launch a digital music service.

Details on the
service remain vague, although Google did announce plans to offer a music store
for its Android Market, and a service that would let users stream songs from
their desktop computers to Android devices.



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