Site offers news, artist soundboard, copyright primer

A group of European music-trade orgs have launched a Web campaign to promote the virtues of legitimate online music services and publicize the shortcomings of free file-swapping networks like Kazaa and Morpheus.

The “Pro Music” campaign was launched with the backing of the London-based Intl. Federation of the Phonographic Industry, as well as international musicians’ union FIM and the Intl. Music Managers Forum, among others.

The initiative’s Web site, www.pro-music.org, offers a database of mainly U.K.- and Europe-based digital music services like Dotmusic, Tiscali Music Club and Vitaminic, as well as music information sites like All Music Guide and France’s Alapage.com.

Site also lists a series of free music “myths” and “answers,” posting such pro-industry observations as “The music industry wants the advances technology brings but not the abuse of technology at the expense of a whole industry.”

Pro Music also offers news reports about Internet music, a timeline of events in the space, artists offering their viewpoints and a primer on copyright in cyberspace.

The European initiative mirrors similar efforts undertaken in the U.S. last year by the Recording Industry Assn. of America, when it and other trade groups launched the “Music United for Strong Internet Copyright” campaign in a bid to educate consumers about free downloading and the paid services available on the Web as alternatives.

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