QTrax raises privacy issues

There has been a huge controversy over the last day or so regarding the QTrax announcement that it has deals with major labels to allow free music downloads. The catch was that those deals areapparently not in place yet. There is also (in my mind at least) a looming privacy issue.

In return for the free downloads the user must watch advertising while it downloads. The labels are to get a share of the advertising revenue.

The privacy issue is that the revenue is apparently calculated on actual use, ie how often the songs are listened to, in addition to how often they are downloaded. That means there is a DRM mechanism that reports back how often you listened.

The Qtrax web site says there is no spyware, but I couldn’t find any details about the reporting issue, nor a privacy policy. Lets hope it does not report back any personal info, and that they explain how it works so consumers can make an educated decision about using the service.

Read a Times Online article

Read a GigaOM post

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