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Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, is in the process of signing deals with the major record companies to develop a limited digital music service for its subscribers, according to several people briefed on the talks.

The new service, which is expected to be introduced to the market in coming weeks, would allow users of the phones’ instant-message service, BlackBerry Messenger, to send songs to other subscribers, according to these people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are private and the deals have not all been signed.

Unlike Spotify, Rhapsody and other so-called cloud music services, which let their users stream millions of songs, the new BlackBerry program would allow users to share only about 50 songs with other users, through playlists and other features.

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