Will Apples Rip-Mix-Burn Tune Change?
Brooks: If Apple acquires Universal Music, it will own the music.When Apple began not only encouraging people to Rip. Mix. Burn their favorite CD tracks, but also selling them the tools that made it all easy, the different-thinking computer company seriously ticked off the record business. You could imagine an Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man sitting somewhere clucking that Steve Jobs and Co. would be singing a different tune if Apple owned the copyrights on the tracks in question. Apple may yet have the chance to put its money where its mouth islast week, the LA Times reported that Apple is in talks with Vivendi Universal to buy Universal Music Group, the worlds largest record company, for as much as $6 billion.
Apple is set to launch a music download service later this month, an effort that most of the major record labels are said to be backing. However, judging from the record industrys attitude toward online music distribution so far, I cant imagine that itd permit this service to break any new ground.