U, Virgin uploading Gallic music pact

Deal made as a further step in fighting piracy

PARIS — Virgin Megastore France and Universal Music France have pacted to make U’s titles available for download from Virginmega.fr beginning June 1.

Pact is one of a growing number of deals made as the embattled music industry tries to fight piracy.

Deal was inked a day after software maker Roxio paid $40 million to acquire digital music service Pressplay from Vivendi Universal and Sony in a bid to resurrect the defunct Napster in a new, legal incarnation.

“Virginmega.fr plans to play a role in digital distribution by offering a legal and attractive alternative to piracy,” said Jean Noel Reinhardt, prexy of Virgin Megastore France.

The distribution chain was tight-lipped, however, on specific details of the transaction.

The catalog of Universal Music France, which includes popular French rockers Johnny Hallyday and Eddy Mitchell, will be a nice addition for Virginmega.fr, which already boasts the catalogs of Naive, Wagram and Warner Music France.

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