Mobile handset manufacturer Nokia has concluded a Europe-wide licensing agreement with the German collecting society GEMA in Munich for its unlimited Comes With Music service.

The agreement grants Comes With Music the right to use the GEMA repertoire. The Comes With Music catalog contains about 5.5 million songs.

Nokia has also issued a general statement to make clear that it is not planning to switch Comes With Music to a DRM-free format in its various territories. Downloads are currently tethered to an assigned handset and PC. The Finnish company said its a-la-carte Nokia Music Store was set to go DRM-free but did not specify a date.

According to GEMA, new services such as Nokia Comes With Music can help to get Internet piracy under control on a long-term basis.

GEMA's CEO Dr Harald Heker welcomed the new partnership. "The agreement shows that GEMA can also offer licensing partners good solutions for innovative new business models from which both sides can profit," he said. "For our members these are new models to earn money and Nokia as licensee can offer its customers a wide spectrum of high quality music."

"The rights of the artists and the authors have always been in the center of Nokia's interests," added Anke Fleischer, head of Central and Eastern Europe, Nokia Music, in a statement. "We are very happy that we have concluded a deal that respects the rights of the music makers and offers our customers the possibility the enjoy music carefree and legally."

The purchase of a pre-licensed Comes With Music handset allows unlimited access to the national Nokia Music Store for 12 months, via the handset or PC. If users do not get another subscription as part of an operator tariff or buy a new pre-licensed handset, the previously downloaded titles still remain in the ownership of the customer on the assigned devices.

Following its October 2008 launch in the U.K., Comes With Music is now additionally available in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden.