Sony BMG Music Entertainment has become the second major label to strike a licensing deal with Snocap, the digital licensing and copyright management music registry and clearinghouse created by former

NEW YORK -- Sony BMG Music Entertainment has become the second major label to strike a licensing deal with Snocap, the digital licensing and copyright management music registry and clearinghouse created by former Napster founder Shawn Fanning.

Snocap uses an audio fingerprinting technique to create digital usage rules for tracks encoded with the technology. This allows labels and artists who license Snocap to define the usage rules for each track, such as rights and distribution. Authorized P2P services and online retail outlets may then subscribe to the Snocap clearinghouse to access content and thereby skip the need to negotiate directly with each label or content owner to legally distribute their music.

Snocap inked a deal with Universal Music Group last November.

Sony BMG's CEO Andrew Lack stressed the need to work with technology providers during an appearance at Billboard's Music & Money Symposium on March 3 in New York.

"Until we protect content, you can't present me with a growth model that I can go to the bank with," he said. "Sean Fanning and Snocap and others are giving credibility to the efforts here, technologically. We have to get these filters applied. They do exist; they do work. There are real solutions to the [piracy] problem."

Snocap officials say they have already begun encoding Sony BMG content, a process that takes a few weeks. It takes longer to sign up online music distribution services to use the Snocap clearinghouse. To date, only P2P service Mashboxx has publicly announced its intention to use Snocap, but the company says it is pursuing all other online services while it continues working to secure additional label licensing deals.

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