The UK’s minister for communications, technology and broadcasting, Stephen Carter, has welcomed the announcement of Virgin Media and UMG’s unlimited streaming and downloads music service.”Government has a role in creating the right legal and regulatory framework for rights and copyright,” says Carter. “However, the market will flourish through innovative commercial agreements between companies, and agreements such as this will help significantly in reducing any demand for piracy.”The announcement comes a day before the expected publication of Carter’s Digital Britain report, which includes in its focus questions of how to fight online piracy while fostering legal music services. So it’s good (and presumably un-coincidental) timing on Virgin’s part.Meanwhile, BSkyB is also expected to launch its own music service in the coming weeks, offering a combination of streaming and downloads (although not the unlimited model touted by Virgin). Interestingly, UMG was also the first major partner for that service.

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