updated 05:05 pm EST, Mon November 13, 2006
Non-Zune owners thieves?
Universal today accused all owners of non-Zune music players of stealing music, according to a report from Billboard Magazine. The major record label last week revealed that it had struck a deal with Microsoft to collect royalties on each Zune player sold. "We felt that any business that's built on the bedrock of music we should share in," Universal CEO Doug Morris said. Today Universal's chief revealed that the label refused to license its content to Microsoft's Zune Marketplace online store without royalties, arguing that his company requires compensation above and beyond direct music sales, regardless of whether Universal artists' music is ever copied to a Zune. "These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it." Morris' statement in effect suggests that players without such licensing schemes -- such as Apple's iPod -- are used primarily to listen to illegally copied songs.
The executive also clarified the terms of Universal's deal with Microsoft, noting that the company receives $1 per every $250 Zune sold and distributing half of the profits equally amongst its artists, according to Electronista. Universal previously hinted that it will try to negotiate similar terms with Apple and other online store owners in the future, but has not said that it would adjust the price of the music itself.