Universal CEO Morris wants iPod royalty fee from Apple

“Universal Music Group Chief Executive Doug Morris said on Tuesday he may try to fashion an iPod royalty fee with Apple Computer Inc. in the next round of negotiations in early 2007,” Reuters reports.

“Universal… was the first major record label to strike an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to receive a fee for every Zune digital media player sold,” Reuters reports.

“‘It would be a nice idea. We have a negotiation coming up not too far. I don’t see why we wouldn’t do that… but maybe not in the same way,’ he told the Reuters Media Summit,” Reuters reports.

Full article here.
Morris can seek, but he shall not find. Maybe by the end of 2007, the leech will be able to buy a sandwich with all of his accumulated Zune royalties. Steve Jobs holds cards that Microsoft can only dream of holding.

As we wrote on November 9: We’ve been saying for quite awhile that Microsoft seems to want the Zune to fail; the choice brown, the muddled business plan, the crippled Wi-Fi, the hobbled DRM-laden “sharing”, the weak advertising, the fake scroll-wheel, the “uncoolness” of Microsoft, the lack of a compelling price advantage, the lack of video content, etc. But, we couldn’t figure out why Microsoft seems to want the Zune to fail. We thought maybe they needed a tax write-off or they were just mismanaged and/or deluded. But, maybe their “plan” is to set a precedent for the next round of iTunes Store negotiations? Perhaps Microsoft hopes to hurt Apple by trying to force this weird profit sharing on iPods? To share hardware profits with the music labels makes no sense. Did phonograph makers share record player profits with music labels? No. Did Sony share Walkman profits with music labels? No. Do AM/FM radio makers share profits with music labels? No. Do TV makers share profits with TV networks and producers? No.

As we wrote on November 10: As far as Universal demanding the same ludicrous royalty scheme from Apple Computer Inc. to which Microsoft capitulated with Zune: Universal needs Apple a helluva lot more than Apple needs Universal. If Universal doesn’t want to sell music to what will then be in excess of 100 million iPods sold via what will then be a U.S. top five music outlet, Apple’s iTunes Store, then Universal can go pound sand. If Universal makes such a bad decision, they’ll be crawling back to Steve Jobs on their hands and knees within weeks begging for forgiveness. If they want to play hardball with Steve Jobs based on a deal they made with the sleazebag Redmond Zunatics, they should understand that a Jobs fastball thrown straight to the head will sideline them not just from that game, but from many games to come.

Contact Universal Music Group: communications@umusic.com

Related articles:
Microsoft’s Zune selling like snotcakes – November 15, 2006
Universal Music Group CEO calls iPod users thieves – November 11, 2006
Following Zune deal, Universal expected to demand iPod royalties from Apple – November 10, 2006
Microsoft to pay Universal for every Zune sold – November 09, 2006


  1. What a miserable parasite trying to suck the life blood out of Job’s creation. I hope Steve makes an example with him and at this point, Steve is powerful enough to do it.

    Is this guy stupid or what?

  2. When the record labels get a cut of every record player, CD player, cassette deck, etc sold, THEN they can talk to Apple about royalties.

    They forced Microsoft into a bad deal, because M$ was desperate to look like they could compete with iPod+iTunes.

  3. What next, are the States going to ask the Car manufacturers for a handout every time a car rolls off the assembly line because it may or may not drive on a highway.

    MS did what they wanted, they threw a spoiler in there, just to fu@k with the model… If they get away with it we are all screwed on other stuff we use.

  4. I’d like a villa in Tuscany, a beach house in Kauai, a few Ferraris, couple nice thoroughbreds, one or two of those wine cellars with the amazing vaulted ceilings, a staff of 12…

    maybe I’ll put that into my next compensation negotiation.

  5. Comment just filed at Universal Music’s contact page:

    “I just read about your CEO’s unconscionable attempt to force Apple to pay Universal a royalty for every iPod sold. If Doug Morris goes ahead with this plan, I will boycott every Universal CD, DVD, movie and theme park from that point forward, and I will urge everyone I know to do likewise. It’s bad enough that your CEO believes most of the music on an MP3 player is stolen when surveys have clearly shown that that’s not the case (my own iPod is full of songs copied from the CDs that I’ve purchased over the years and, more frequently lately, tracks purchased and downloaded from iTunes). But to call on a device manufacturer to pay money for every device sold, after having paid money to Universal for every track sold, will further sour your supposed customers on the greed of your company and its leadership, and encourage them to pirate their music rather than acquire it legally. Hey, if they’re paying for it anyways through an iPod surcharge, why not?”

    Here’s the form:


    …though you may need to start here:


  6. What a load of garbage. I tend to believe Microsoft entered into the deal with Universal JUST to get Universal to go after Apple. Microoft has deep pockets (for now, anyway) and knows they can afford to pay Universal a few bucks… But Microsoft also knew if they didn’t agree to pay Universal, Universal would probably not go after Apple…

    Microsoft is like one of those knats that keeps flying in your face even afer you swat it away…

  7. In other news:

    Hamburger patty companies will soon ask for royalties from the makers of hamburger buns
    Car manufacturers will ask for royalties from tire manufacturers.
    Window companies will ask for royalties from window cleaner companies.
    Toothbrush companies will ask toothpaste manufacturers for a royalty.

    and Doug Morris needs more hookers and blow.

    two words for ya Dougie:

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