Universal Accuses non-Zune owners of stealing music

Discussion in 'iPod' started by mdntcallr, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Aug 1, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA

    Universal today accused all owners of non-Zune music players of stealing music, according to a report from Billboard Magazine. The major record label last week revealed that it had struck a deal with Microsoft to collect royalties on each Zune player sold. "We felt that any business that's built on the bedrock of music we should share in," Universal CEO Doug Morris said. Today Universal's chief revealed that the label refused to license its content to Microsoft's Zune Marketplace online store without royalties, arguing that his company requires compensation above and beyond direct music sales, regardless of whether Universal artists' music is ever copied to a Zune. "These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it." Morris' statement in effect suggests that players without such licensing schemes -- such as Apple's iPod -- are used primarily to listen to illegally copied songs.

    The executive also clarified the terms of Universal's deal with Microsoft, noting that the company receives $1 per every $250 Zune sold and distributing half of the profits equally amongst its artists, according to Electronista. Universal 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.
  2. macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    That's just f***ed.

    They're basically saying to iTS customers, "oh so you thought purchasing that music that we let you purchase was fine by us? No, we've figured out a way to make even more money so now you're all thieves until you start adhering to the new rules."

    Bloody record companies, time for the artists to ditch them and strike out on their own.
  3. macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    I believe I speak for all of us when I say 'F**k Universal.'

    If I buy a CD, it's my right to listen to it as I please, whether that means putting it on an iPod or not. If they think Zune owners are going to be any better about this, they're a bunch of useless, bloody loonies (to quote Adams).
  4. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 1, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA

    I think this is offensive! I own two ipods. I have a huge CD collection. I like to buy some music online, I also like to buy cd's and rip music that way, why? cause i like better sounding music than the online store offers.

    I also work in the music industry, as does most of my family, so when i hear Doug Morris attacking people, who are music customers just because he wants more money from electronics manufacturers, it offends me.

    Doug Morris is offensive in what he said here.

    I think people need to know what is happening here. Universal used leverage to extract a royalty, or more expressly a toll fee, to playball with the UMG catalog on the Zune music store. They wouldnt license content for sale via Microsoft without this deal.

    This is part of a strategy UMG has to change the dynamics of music sales and royalties by creating ways of new income.

    Who will pay for this? The Consumers in form of expanded prices.

    Screw Doug Morris! Screw UMG!


    Added on:
    Also, NOT all record labels are like this. UMG is being particularly aggressive. companies like EMI, SONY-BMG and Warners are NOT pushing this agenda. This is a UMG thing
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    The day they get rid of CDs and burden us with crappy, low-bit, DRM-infested downloads is the day I stop buying music.

    Universal, you contemptible pricks. I've spent a lot of money with you guys... I replaced my favourite vinyl with CDs, paying over again for poorly-mastered content and then almost content to pay again for remastered favourites. I scrupulously buy my CDs like a good well-trained consumer.

    Who the hell do you think you are calling thieves? Effing nerve.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL

    Microsoft caved to Universal/BMI in order to get them onboard w/ Zune. Now Universal thinks they can extort Apple. This is the same crap that the music labels tried in the 70s when casette tapes and recorders became popular. They wanted a royalty paid on every blank casette! They got their way in Europe, where a royalty is paid to the European version of ASCAP for every blank CD and casette sold. Since the music companies lost that fight here, they have been waiting for a chance to get their revenge on all of us music pirates and our recording devices, and Microsoft gave it to them. Payola lives!
  7. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 1, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    another interesting article on the matter


    On Friday Chris Seibold wrote about a deal between Universal and Microsoft. He reported that Microsoft agreed to pay Universal a portion of the proceeds from every Zune player they sell.

    But wait, there’s more. You might be interested in knowing what Universal’s chairman/CEO has to say about it. According to Billboard.com, Doug Morris doesn’t think much of people who use mp3 players.

    "These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it,” UMG chairman/CEO Doug Morris says. “So it’s time to get paid for it."

    Maybe he needs to read the Jupiter research better. Mac Daily News does a good job reporting the research. To sum it up, only 7% of iPod users and 25% of those using other mp3 players download music illegally. That leaves an awful lot of people either downloading music legally or filling their iPods with music ripped from CDs.

    Doug Morris is risking alienating a lot of past and potential customers. Even those who use illegal download sites probably purchase some music, whether online or in the form of CDs. If Morris had read the Jupiter research, he might realize that people who use iPod and other mp3 players are much more likely to purchase CDs than those who don’t own such a device. That only makes sense. If you purchase an mp3 player, you’re probably already a music lover.

    The comments on Mac Daily News show a strong reaction by mp3 purchasers. Several readers sent letters to Universal which they copied at the Mac Daily News site. Some are suggesting boycotts. Quite a few of them talked about the total number of songs they have on their iPods and stated that they had paid for every one of them. Others said they had stopped listening to and purchasing music altogether until iTMS and iPods breathed new life into their music listening habits.

    Mr. Morris might also do well to remember that iTMS has sold over one billion songs. That’s a lot of music, every bit of it legal. While I don’t have any statistics proving that much of it was from Universal’s artists, I know this has to be true just because of Universal’s sheer size.

    How much money did Universal make from those one billion downloads? How many customers did it take to download these songs? Compound that by downloads at other legal sites. Mr. Morris, I think a lot of people wonder why you insulted them that way.

    People are already angry at Microsoft for making this deal. It’s a dream come true for Universal. According to American Public Media, Microsoft plans to enter into similar deals with other labels. Hopefully their CEOs will just be happy with the situation and realize that it’s not the best move to insult their customers.

    When the contract renewal comes up between Universal and Apple, I hope Apple stands their ground. If Zune is successful, labels will feel they have an option and might try to hold out for the same deal with Apple that they get from Microsoft. I hate the idea of Apple doing business with a company whose CEO calls me a thief.

    By the way, Mr. Morris, my MP3 is full. In fact, we have three in our family, most of them full. Every song on them is ripped from purchased CDs. Not one is an illegal download.

    Apple, please take note of the Jupiter research report. Even with one billion songs sold on iTMS, most of the music on iPods comes from CDs. Don’t make a Microsoft deal with Universal. They still need you more than you need them.

    ***Last minute update: I was reading the article by James R. Stoup on the Zune pricing scheme. Following a link left by reader Ben Hall (thanks, Ben) I discovered why it is that Microsoft and Universal work so well together.

    Microsoft has long believed iPod users are thieves.

    Check out this quote dated October 4, 2004. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, in talking about iPods, states “The most common format of music on an iPod is stolen.” He blames a lot of it on the difficulty of using Apple’s DRM.

    Are any of you being tired of being called thieves? I know I am.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2003
    One more reason to use ITMS or buy my retail CDs used off eBay.

    Wonder if -- since M$ has now set the legal precedent -- the other recording companies can now sue for their fair portion of Zune sales?
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 1, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is no legal precedent. However, it is a industry precedent. Microsoft will likely do a similar deal with each major label group. they are NOT going to turn down money. Even if Zune tanks, microsoft wants to change the industry dynamics of Apple dictating terms to their partners.

    This is all part of a MSFT strategy to screw with Apple
  10. macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    There's a new name on my Douchebag list, and that name is Doug Morris.
  11. macrumors Core

    Jun 16, 2004
    Anyone got Doug Morris's email address?

    Remember, UMG did this too...

    EDIT: I'll be sending an email to this address until I can find Mr Morris's!

  12. macrumors 601


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I am confused?! So all they want is 1 buck for a entire 30 GBs of stolen music. That is all they think it is worth? They seem happy with that? Ok.

    I have been buying all my music and I thought 99 cents was good for one song.
  13. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    LOL. Wonder how soon this'll be used as precedent in RIAA cases.

    Maybe the labels need to set up their own MP3 player registration sites. Sign up for $5 ($1/major label) and pay your piracy tax. :p

  14. macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2006
    I steal music.

    But only when it's not available on iTunes. Companies really think they're losing out by joining with iTunes? Not with me, if you're not on iTunes I just got your stuff for free. If you are on iTunes I payed 99 cents for your song $1.99 for your TV show or whatever the price happens to be for your movie.
  15. macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    Yeah, that makes me feel good about giving up filesharing all those years ago. :rolleyes: Maybe I'm going to have to start checking which label the music I buy is released with, and consider if it's really worth it.
  16. macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    I think Steve should give Universal a little talking to like he did wal-mart and target'
  17. Guest


    Dec 12, 2005
    OK then, who's for starting a class action against this bloke for defaming us all? I spend a fortune on CDs but I can tell you I will think very carefully before I buy anything else on Universal. Also in striking this deal are MS saying that it's OK to steal from the small labels? Imagine buying a zune And filling it with your favourite small label music and having to pay UMG for the privilege. This is just outrageous.
  18. macrumors Core

    Jun 16, 2004

    That's an understatement!!
  19. Guest


    Dec 12, 2005
    I am the master of understatement...

    Aren't U2 signed to UMG? Maybe Steve could have a word with Bongo...
  20. macrumors Core

    Jun 16, 2004

    Are U2 still on Island?

    Metallica are also a UMG artist!
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Daytona Beach
  22. ATD
    macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005

    You could try


    No guarantee that will work, I have not had any business dealings with the music side of Universal.

  23. macrumors Core

    Jun 16, 2004

    My rage blinded me!

    It's worth a try!
  24. macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    Right, so now Universal are accusing me of stealing music I have legally bought? WTF?! :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: Screw Universal.
  25. macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    from now on, the only illegally obtained music in my library will be from artists signed on the UMG label. ill pay for everything else.

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