Last week, we noted that the press couldn't stop talking about Last.fm's supposed effort to offer "free" music, when the details showed it was a lot less
than the press made it out to be. You'd think that maybe they would be more careful the next time around. However, when you combine the words "free" and "music" it appears that some folks in the press just can't help themselves. Thus, when a company named Qtrax announced "free" file sharing, with the backing of all four major labels, plus iPod compatibility, the press ran with it. The Associated Press
both ran with it... though, at least the Associated Press has quickly started backtracking
after the various record labels all started denying
any kind of deal with Qtrax. They admit they're talking, but no deals have been signed -- meaning that Qtrax jumped the gun, as did the reporters who ran with the announcement. Even if the labels do come around on this one, it's a plan that will go nowhere fast. It involves crippling DRM and annoying advertising that won't even be close to effective. This is a non-story turned into a story by the use of two words: "free" and "music."