updated 01:15 pm EDT, Fri November 2, 2007
Nokia Music Stumbles
Nokia's newly-opened Music Store is already suffering from conflicts over licensing issues, according to new reports. The cellphone designer has been forced to open its new direct-download store for cellphones and PCs without access to music from major label Warner Music, which has pulled out from the store over complaints that Nokia's MOSH service is undermining the store through its file-sharing feature; Nokia wants to offer Warner's catalog legally on one hand but is doing little to stop pirated copies of that catalog from trading hands on the other, Warner claims. Nokia has publicly refuted the claim, noting that MOSH uses fingerprinting to recognize and block copyrighted material.
"We think we have done a lot to ensure that content owners' rights are not abused," says spokesperson Kari Tuutti. The Finnish company hopes to reach an agreement that would see Warner rejoin the store, which still has the support of EMI, Sony BMG, and Universal.
The setback represents an increasing resistance by music labels to deals that they believe will diminish their profits. Apple's iTunes highlighted the issue when Universal refused a long-term contract to provide music for the store, opting instead for short-term deals that would let it back out with relatively little notice or to offer exclusives to other stores.
Nokia has also warned customers that its cross-device N-Gage platform for mobile games will experience a slight delay, launching in December instead of the original November timeframe. Last-minute software glitches are preventing the company from opening the service on time, Tuutti says. The new N-Gage service is intended to let users download and play games at a quality normally reserved for dedicated handhelds while also creating a community for gamers.