updated 10:50 am EDT, Wed November 3, 2010
Reinforces industry importance of iTunes
Warner Music Group's senior VP and head of digital legal affairs, Elliott Peters, is leaving the company for a position at Apple, says Billboard. Starting next month, Peters will become Apple's corporate attorney director for iTunes Europe and Internet services. There he will manage the European legal team for both MobileMe and iTunes.
Peters has been with Warner since 2000, and was in fact WMG's first digital lawyer. "Since that time, Elliott has had a hand in almost every major WMG digital deal," notes a memo distributed by the company's general counsel. Peters' defection to Apple may be a sign of the importance of iTunes, which is now the primary venue for US music sales, the largest source of mobile apps, and growing in international reach.
The hiring could potentially be related to Apple efforts to build an iTunes streaming service. Obtaining licenses is believed to be the company's major obstacle, since different labels in different regions will require different terms. Peters' experience could help to smooth the negotiation process.