Google hits up Harry Fox for Christmas music store launch?

July 26, 2010: 9:50 AM ET

A new rumor today says Google is frantically putting together a deal which would grant the company license to sell music directly.

Google  is said to be in "accelerated" talks with the Harry Fox Agency, which is the largest owner of mechanical music licenses in the Unites States, to build out its Music store.   A mechanical license is described as:

Within the music industry, a mechanical licence gives the holder permission to create copies of a recorded song which they did not write and/or do not have copyright over. It is an agreement with the composition copyright holder, the publisher, or the songwriter that allows the holder to reproduce the composition -- recording, printed sheet music, lyrics, for example. This license specifically refers to the musical composition as an entity, not any particular physical sound recording(s) of the composition. For example, you would need a mechanical license to publish sheet music for "California Girls," composed by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, from their publisher. You would also need it if you wanted to press CDs of your band singing "California Girls." However, if you wanted to press CDs of the 1965 Beach Boys recording of "California Girls," you would need both a mechanical license AND a master recording license from the Beach Boys (or their record label).

The NY Post's report agrees with the previous Google Music rumors which have pointed to a Christmas launch.

Google (GOOG) would need to have Harry Fox signed up before it could start selling major label music on its own. Google currently sells lots of music, though it fulfills orders through Amazon and iTunes.

Music operations at Google have been accelerating for months. Its YouTube service started 'discovering' music last week.  Although the name of the service hasn't been officially clarified, the logo for 'Google Music' was discovered last month on Google's servers.

At Google I/O in May, Vic Gundutra showed Google's vision for a music service and its integration with its Android mobile devices.  There was (at least not visibly) no of Amazon or iTunes (AAPL) fulfillment in the service that they showed, meaning this music service is likely.

Long time partner, Amazon (AMZN) has been selling music for Google on both Android and through YouTube for years. Therefore, the news that Google is moving from partner to competitor isn't likely to be welcome.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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