Deal covers North American mechanical rights to pub's roster.

Ad-supported peer-to-peer network Qtrax, a division of Brilliant Technologies, has entered into a licensing agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group. The deal covers North American mechanical rights to the publisher's repertoire.

"UMPG desires to be at the forefront of licensing legitimate new technologies and sites in an effort to maximize revenues for our copyrights, songwriters and artists," David Renzer, chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, said in a statement. "We believe that Qtrax and the legal P2P environment are an exciting new business model with great upside potential and we are pleased to have concluded this new arrangement with them."

Brilliant Technologies CEO Allan Klepfisz added that the deal "represents a significant milestone for us in our drive to offer the most comprehensive legal P2P service ever and to establish first-mover velocity with users and major international advertisers."

EMI Music Publishing made a similar deal with Qtrax last July, as did Sony/ATV Music Publishing in October. Qtrax advisor on digital rights, Rick Riccobono, tells that the company is in the final negotiating stages with the Harry Fox Agency. Warner/Chappell Music is expected to license its rights through the HFA deal, he says. Negotiations are also ongoing with BMG Music Publishing.