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Turntable.fm bucks legal gray area with licensing deals from the four major labels

turntable-fm-app-rating-systemTopping the streaming music news today is Turntable.fm successfully acquiring licensing deals from all four major record labels. The social Djing site is now definitely clear of the legal nightmares that streaming companies like Grooveshark have been afflicted with.

While Turntable.fm scored ASCAP and BMI licensing deals last summer, on Tuesday, founder Billy Chasen and co-founder Seth Goldstein announced that they were now completely “legitimate” with all four major labels now on board. The move will probably allow the company to move further along in its ambition to grow internationally.

“There are no eggshells, no wondering whether or not what we’re doing is viable as it relates to rights holders,” said Goldstein during a social music panel at this year’s SXSW.

Turntable.fm basically gamifies your music discovery experience; in the past we’ve compared the service to a social and interactive Pandora radio. Users can become DJ’s in “rooms,” playing for an audience of passive listener users who get to vote on the songs currently being played. The company reached 207,000 unique web visitors during its first month full month in July 2011.

The NYTimes Media Decoder blog points out that the Turntable.fm’s somewhat unique element of active song picking as a DJ is the same element that puts the service in a legal gray area in regards to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Company’s like Pandora gets covered under the DMCA law as a “non-interactive” Web radio service; users can’t pick the exact song they want to listen to.

But all that’s in the past now; turntable.fm is legit, and Goldstein seems quite pleased:

“This feels like an all-time record speed launch – when we launched we really didn’t come at this from the music industry, it was all new to us…We felt that from the get-go the labels were absolutely different from what I’d been led to believe. They gave us a lot of time and attention.”

Via Billboard

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