“Leading independent record companies have accused Apple, the US technology group behind iTunes, of bureaucratic failures and time-wasting in signing artists such as Franz Ferdinand and Deepest Blue to its download music store,” Tim Burt reports for The Financial Times. “Groups including Domino Records, Chrysalis Music and Ministry of Sound – the label boasting this week’s number one UK single, ‘Call on Me’ – claim Apple has refused to negotiate terms for their artists in spite of an outline deal signed this summer to offer independent repertoire on iTunes Europe.”
“Apple agreed its first contracts with independent labels in July after months of wrangling over licensing terms and allegations that the US group favoured industry majors such as Universal and Warner Music. The Association of Independent Music (Aim), representing more than 800 European labels, said Apple was stalling in offering a standard template deal to artists including Moloko, Elvis Costello, Ty and The Farm,” Burt reports.
“Labels fear they could lose millions of dollars in potential royalties and licensing payments by being unavailable on the iTunes Music Store, which has sold more than 100m downloads worldwide since its launch and some 5m songs in its first eight weeks in the UK,” Burt reports. “Apple declined to comment on the allegations. But officials pointed out that several independents such as Beggars Group and Sanctuary Records had signed deals with the service. In a statement, Apple said: ‘Although music from Domino and Ministry of Sound is not currently live, we are working directly with them and hundreds of other labels to get their content live as quickly as possible.'”
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