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Universal: owners of non-Zune players are thieves

updated 04:30 pm EST, Mon November 13, 2006

Universal on non-Zunes

Confirming earlier indications that the company is compensating for perceived losses to its music business, Universal on Monday accused all owners of music players beyond Microsoft's Zune of stealing music, according to Billboard. Universal CEO Doug Morris made the public revelation that the music label refused to license its content to Microsoft's online store without royalties, arguing controversially that his company required compensation outside of direct music sales regardless of whether or not Universal artists' music is ever copied to the player. More details follow after the jump.

"These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it," Morris said, in effect stating that players without such licensing schemes are used primarily to listen to illegally copied songs. The executive also clarified the terms of the deal and noted that the company receives $1 per every $250 Zune sold, distributing half of the profits equally amongst its artists. The company has 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. GuitarJeff

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe I'm in the minority (though I doubt it), but I've owned several iPods from gen 1 through the new Shuffle, and I've never had an illegal track on any of them. I have an extensive CD library and have thousands of legal tracks, as well as podcasts and audio books on my iPods. If M$ caved in to extortion demands from the RIAA and individual record labels, it's only because they know they have little chance of breaking into the huge marketshare that Apple enjoys without significant help.

    If the record labels priced their products reasonably, instead of whining about their failure to foresee and capitalize on a major shift in their marketplace, they would be an active participant in eliminating piracy of their products.

    Further, I have long since tired of having to buy an entire CD, just to get the 3 or 4 tracks that are worth listening to, the rest being filler tracks. Find some acts that actually have talent, and the record labels can reverse the downward trend of sales of their products.

  1. neilw

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it."

    Is there any other industry that is so contemptuous of its customers, so set in their oligopoly that they have completely ceased caring about PR? They don't seem to miss an opportunity to flip their customers the bird.

    He could have softened his statement in many other ways, but chose to lump all 75 million or so MP3 player owners into one big group of criminals.

    What a bunch of b*******.

  1. henk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    dog morris

    Apple supplied the only integrated sulotion -so far- for legal downloads of digital Music.

    This made Microsoft very sick (yeah, even sicker); Zune was born.

    This guy Morris is clearly too stupid to run a media place, even more so to team-up with Microsoft. He is also a stone-hard liar that has no proof whatsoever of the point he is trying to make. This guy should be attacked by consumer-organisation. This guy is not worthy of representing artists. Not worthy of consumers trust as he refuses to trust them. Therefor not worthy of their good dollars.

    Shame on both companies for putting an overhead on this stupid piece of hardware with it's half-baked wireless music sharing experience.

    May Microsoft, Zune and every shoddy piece of product ever to have come out of their hands go down hard. May Universal and Dog Morris go down with them.

    Oh, and please; may we never have to look into his, or the hysterical eyes of his cousin Ballmer again, PLEASE...

  1. Sprocket

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Gratitude? Not.

    Henk: "Apple supplied the only integrated sulotion -so far- for legal downloads of digital Music."

    Yeah, you would think they'd be a bit grateful, eh? Well, Doug the 'Slug' just got 'nixed out of my future purchase plans -- and I'm spreading this story within my social circle! Bye-by Doug -- let's see how far $1 on 10 Zunes sold will take you!

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