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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:19 PM   #1
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iTunes Canada... Soon

One reader forwarded a reply from the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) to an inquiry about bringing the iTunes Music Store to Canada.

According to the reply from David Basskin, CMRRA's President, licensing issues have kept Apple from launching iTunes Canada, but the wheels are now in motion:

Quote:
I'm happy to say that the process of negotiating a licensing deal with
Apple is now under way. I met last week with representatives of the
company, and I'm confident that our discussions will move ahead quickly.
Last week, Steve Jobs told me that Apple couldn't wait to come to Canada,
and that it was a very high priority for him. I trust that this enthusiasm
will be reflected in a quick and mutually successful negotiation.
Apple's iTunes Music Store launched for the Mac in April and for Windows last week. The service is currently limited to customers in the United States. Meanwhile, the most recent target date for iTunes Europe is rumored to be May 2004.

Last edited by arn; Oct 20, 2003 at 12:34 PM.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:22 PM   #2
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Great news

Congrats (soon) to our neighbors from the north. It's high time your Association got off it's ass and let you get the music you want!
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:33 PM   #3
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Once Apple gets this thing up and running Canada and Eurpore 1,000,000 downloads in 3.5 days will look like squat comparted to what they will be getting.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:33 PM   #4
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Can't come soon enough.

Although I'm always dubious of the executive "blowing smoke" factor (iTunes for Canada is a "top priority?" Right behind the other 40,000 top priorities, perhaps...), this does sound like a step in the right direction for we Canadian music fans.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:35 PM   #5
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This is great news!

I read a post somewhere suggesting that Gift Certificates would work internationally. Haven't tried it out yet, but if we get the real thing here soon, that's even better. Go Apple!
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:39 PM   #6
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[sarcasm]Who cares... I live in the US... iTunes 5 is way more important for me...[/sarcasm]

*watches as the sarcasm detectors start buzzing and flashing*

I'm actually pretty glad... then there should be a few less complaints in the forums (not that they aren't valid).
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Last edited by arn; Oct 20, 2003 at 03:14 PM.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:42 PM   #7
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It's aboot time!
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:43 PM   #8
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Actually, I do believe it's gonna come soon...

Remember, the Big Scary Unknown was/is the *Windows* version, not the international version. Legal red tape is all that's been holding up the Canadian/European/etc. versions; the Windows version is where all of the uncertainty and technical bugaboos were/are.

Now that they've gotten the WinTunes store out of the gate and off to a roaring start (aside from a couple of key issues), I strongly suspect that the rest will follow *very* quickly.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:46 PM   #9
bignumbers
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Oh, Steve will be thrilled to see this. He had a private negotiation with someone, and that someone (David Basskin, CMRRA's President) gossips about it. Yeah, just how to get on Steve's good side...
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:49 PM   #10
Totalshock
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Quote:
Originally posted by bignumbers
Oh, Steve will be thrilled to see this. He had a private negotiation with someone, and that someone (David Basskin, CMRRA's President) gossips about it. Yeah, just how to get on Steve's good side...
I hadn't thought about that, but you bring up a good point. I wonder for how long the whole of Canada will be ex-communicated from all Apple products for this?

Hmmmm.... and just when it seemed the company had forgiven and forgot over that whole spec leak by (Canadian company) ATi....
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:54 PM   #11
danbirchall
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally posted by jholzner
Once Apple gets this thing up and running Canada and Eurpore 1,000,000 downloads in 3.5 days will look like squat comparted to what they will be getting.
Rollout in Europe will make it available to a nice big population (although since there are licensing issues for each country, I don't know whether they'll be able to roll it out to all of Europe at once), but given that the population of Canada is only a small fraction of the U.S. population, I don't think the Canadian rollout will have much of an impact.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 12:56 PM   #12
MarcL
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Release schedules

It will be interesting to see what they do with album release date, since many CDs come out in Canada before or after they do in the U.S.

I assume they will be going by postal code/billing address, as they do now. Those with Canadian postal codes will be subject to Canadian release dates...which is often a good thing. We get a lot of European material far before the U.S. does.

And what about albums like Robbie Williams's, who has different tracklistings overseas than he does in Europe? Will "imports" be available on the iTMS?

I'm also curious to see what happens for Canadian artists who aren't signed to a U.S. label. Will their music be available to U.S. iTMS shoppers? For the same reason, this could be a very good thing for indie artists. Then more people could be exposed to cool sheeyat like Emm Gryner's version of "Crazy Train."
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 01:04 PM   #13
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If this is true then congrats to the Canadians. I've had a sneaking suspicion they'd be next (one country, next door to US, mostly same record companies, publishers etc.). The sooner this thing spreads outside the US the sooner we might get it
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 01:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by danbirchall
Rollout in Europe will make it available to a nice big population (although since there are licensing issues for each country, I don't know whether they'll be able to roll it out to all of Europe at once), but given that the population of Canada is only a small fraction of the U.S. population, I don't think the Canadian rollout will have much of an impact.
The question then becomes will they roll it out in Europe considering Microsoft is being sued because of a European patent covering the download of music?

http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/2003/10/14/edata/
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 01:12 PM   #15
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Oh Canada

Isn't it odd how, on Oct. 16, PureTracks was launched in Canada for Windows users only, mind you with acccess to 100's of thousands of tunes from the major labels and independents. Cost; 99 a tune and $9.99 an album, Canadian money no less.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 01:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by danbirchall
Rollout in Europe will make it available to a nice big population (although since there are licensing issues for each country, I don't know whether they'll be able to roll it out to all of Europe at once), but given that the population of Canada is only a small fraction of the U.S. population, I don't think the Canadian rollout will have much of an impact.
Canada has essentially 10% the population of the United States. It's fair to say that Canada would also have 10% of the US sales of iTMS. If you figure sales to remain steady for the week, iTunes should pick up 2 million downloads by Thursday. 10% of that is 200,000 songs a week. That doesn't sound like a lot but that's 10.4 million songs over a year.

The question is, will there be a Canadian iTMS or will they just be allowed access to the current store? Will there be a french translation of the iTMS for people in Quebec? Will songs be priced $.99 CAD or in the US conversion?

Personally, I say keep the store uniform, at least for North America. Only charge the canadians $.99 CAD because if you do USD prices, most albums are worth buying at a store. iTMS North America should have different language settings (French, English, Spanish).
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 01:16 PM   #17
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I have e-mailed the CRIA, Canada's RIAA and received a response.

"Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I'm not aware of iTunes' business plans for the introduction of their service in Canada but I can tell you that they haven't contacted us yet . I imagine they'll be in touch some time in the near future, however, now that we've got the licensing framework in place.

We'll publish any new news of iTunes' introduction at our website so please continue to visit.

Regards,

Jennifer Hardy
Manager of Administration
Canadian Recording Industry Association"


That means there is no indication as of yet that Apple is dealing with the industry - only the artists.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 01:23 PM   #18
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Talking Take off to the great white north

Image the current iPod ads with Bob & Doug McKenzie + Geddy Lee singing "Take off to the great white north"

Way to go eh!
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 01:34 PM   #19
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Maybe I can finally buy the "Men With Brooms" soundtrack.

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Old Oct 20, 2003, 01:59 PM   #20
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Excommunication

Quote:
Originally posted by Totalshock
I hadn't thought about that, but you bring up a good point. I wonder for how long the whole of Canada will be ex-communicated from all Apple products for this?
You mean we're not already (still)?!?
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 02:20 PM   #21
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Why would someone rate this as "negative"?.. 2 to date
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 02:20 PM   #22
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Europeans and Canadians dont even have computers, what's the big deal about?
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 02:21 PM   #23
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Originally posted by MacsRgr8
Why would someone rate this as "negative"?.. 2 to date

Although I didnt rate it as a negative, the second group wasnt even contacted yet by apple, although i'm not sure how much that matters (they might just follow through with whatever the contacted group does).
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 02:34 PM   #24
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iTunes in Canada

Well, it's certainly nice to be noticed. Just a couple of clarifications:

First, CMRRA is a licensing agency, not an "association". I was on the phone to Apple the day of the IMS launch last April, seeking for a meeting to discuss licensing the service to do business in Canada. We regard IMS as one of the best-designed and most exciting online music distribution services ever created, and we'd be very excited to see it in the Canadian marketplace. At the time, Apple didn't want to meet with us. It's now clear that they were putting their efforts into the Windows version, and didn't want to expand to any further territories until they could do so on both the Mac and PC platforms, which seems to me to be a sound business decision.

We're looking forward to a rapid and mutually beneficial negotiation with Apple so that IMS can open in Canada as quickly as possible. Our company represents music publishers (and the songwriters they represent) and we will be licensing Apple in order to authorize them to make and sell reproductions of our clients' songs. Apple will make separate arrangements with the record labels for the use of their recordings. Once all the contracts are in place, I suspect that Apple will waste little time in opening IMS in Canada. Certainly it's full speed ahead as far as we're concerned.

If you have further questions on this subject, I invite you to visit our site and post a question in the "Ask Us A Question" section. You'll receive a prompt response.

David A. Basskin
President
CMRRA Ltd.
Toronto, Canada
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 02:48 PM   #25
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Re: iTunes in Canada

Quote:
Originally posted by dbasskin If you have further questions on this subject, I invite you to visit our site and post a question in the "Ask Us A Question" section. You'll receive a prompt response.

David A. Basskin
President
CMRRA Ltd.
Toronto, Canada
Wow, very nice to hear from you directly, Mr. Basskin!

I did have one question, which I'm posting here instead of writing directly to you because frankly, it's more idle curiousity than "official business."

Basically, someone else pointed out that PureTracks managed to get up & running (well, sort of; I understand they're having massive bandwidth issues already) in Canada with what I presume are similar licensing agreements to the iTunes store. I was just wondering if they were able to cut through the paperwork more easily due to being *based* in Canada, or what? I realize you may not be at liberty to discuss these details, but would be interested in hearing whatever you are able to discuss.
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