Inside Apple's Discussions With Record Labels

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Inside Apple's Discussions With Record Labels

Thu Dec 04, 2008 @ 06:12PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Apple_ip_060706 Hypebot has a nice little scoop about the demands that each of the major labels are making in negotiations with Apple to drop DRM. Everyone wants something different. According to Hypebot, here are the demands:


* Warner Music Group wants variable pricing on the track level including some hit product above $.99 cents.
    * Sony BMG wants to work with iTunes using the agency model.  As it is with Rhapsody, Amazon and others, Sony BMG is the actual seller of tracks and iTunes woulc be the agent delivering them. Sony BMG's concern is that competition will drive track prices lower and the agency model allows them to maintain complete control.
    * Universal wants watermarking on the individual track purchase level.  Apparently other download stores have agreed or are close to agreeing to do the same. How it will effect consumers remains unclear.

One of the beauties of iTunes is that you pretty much know what you're buying. Will that change?

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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