Universal Music, MySpace Ready To Settle? Maybe.

Are Universal Music Group and MySpace ready to settle a copyright lawsuit dating back to Nov. 2006? Yes, says Digital Music News, who says the two are “close to finalising their ongoing negotiations, according to sources close to the discussions.  An announcement is now “imminent,” according to one source.”

But sources we talked to with knowledge of the discussions disputed the report — or at least the word “imminent”.  What we do know: The two sides have been talking, on and off, for years. There’s not much debate about the legal merits of the case UMG filed against News Corp.’s (NWS) social network — this has always been a discussion about how much Doug Morris and company are owed for use of their music.

We also know that MySpace is pushing hard to launch a “Hulu for music” type joint venture with all of the big labels, and it won’t be able to do that without the particpiation of UMG, which is the world’s biggest label.

So are the two companies talking, say, more intently than they have been a few months ago? Yes, we’re told. Sounds good to us: Launching decent music services on the Web is hard enough without a lawsuit hanging over your head.

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