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Universal: non-Zune owners steal music

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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MS says: Stop helping me!

    What a great way to plug an MP3 player: call all your customers pirates and thieves! Let's get this straight; Universal is (at this point) making decent money from sales of songs through iTunes. Now, they want to help MS sell their Zune, since they got a (rather) sweet deal whereby they sit on their asses and get money from every Zune sold. So, what do they do? Tell the world that they are thieves, unless they buy this dubious crappy new MP3 player that nobody has heard of! Perhaps Universal decided it was more lucrative to just fire all their artists and just take in royalties from Zune players? As an iPod owner (together with some 50 million others), this is quite insulting.

    As for Microsoft, if I were them, I'd probably ask Universal to stop helping them sell this thing...

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $3 stolen music

    Apparently, Universal have 1/3 of the global music market. At $1 per player, that makes the total value of stolen music about $3. Bit smaller than the court cases.

  1. Philip J. Fry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    s**** Universal. Since I'm being called a theif, I will now steal music from their artists. Double Jeopardy!

  1. mduser63

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Zune owners can copy?

    So since Universal is getting money for every Zune to help compensate for the loss of money to music piracy, does that mean it's OK for Zune owners to copy music and get it off file-sharing networks? Sounds that way to me...maybe I should buy a Zune after all. It'll make it so I can save a lot of money on the 2-3 CDs I buy every week.

  1. iDoctor

    Joined: Dec 1969


    M$ Propaganda machine

    I was shocked to read what Universal CEO said ! I have owened 3 iPods so far and I have never stolen music. I can understand him promting Zune thing ... but to go this law .. this is beyond .. I will buy my 4th, 5th .. and 100th iPod .. buy then, Zune will be on display on a museum

  1. davidlfoster

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The subject title says it all in one word. If someone wants to start a class action slander suit, count me in. I have thousands of songs on my iPod and not a single one of them is pirated. I greatly resent this a$$hole's insinuation that as a non-Zune user (the thing isn't even sold yet, is it?), I am a criminal.

    My apologies for the implied nasty, but I am really upset. Now I am searching for the word Universal on anything I'm even thinking of buying.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What an a**...

    I'd like to punch this guy in the face.

  1. Rezzz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    dumbfounded by idiocy

    straight to the point. apple made it possible for people willing to buy music online to do so. those people resonded in droves and have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on songs. they make it difficult (but not impossible) to pirate music. props.

    a tiger can't change it stripes, music company b******. if a person is willing to rip off music and the zune was the only player on the market you can bet your a** they'd find way.

    greed mongerers should change expressions like, "These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it" to the more appropos, "These devices are just repositories for our music, and we want a cut of its profits."

    you're so transparrent you make yourselves look ridiculous. stop lying to the press and tell them how it really is.

  1. wymer100

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Legal stealing

    Since your paying a dollar to Universal to cover illegal downloads, does buying a Zune (and therefore giving compensation to Universal) give you the legal right to download songs from Universal?

    It'll be interesting to see when Universal tries this with Apple. It wouldn't shock me if Universal ended up pulling their songs from iTunes. I don't think it'll directly hurt iPod sales. Most people will just shrug. I doubt anyone will buy a Zune in order to play music from Universal's catalog.

  1. TailsToo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Great reason to go out of your way to NOT buy anything from Universal. I'm shocked that they don't realize that all they are shouting out by this release is how greedy they are. I never saw publishing houses that got money on Xerox sales.

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