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 email.
"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.
Media 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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