Universal could ask for a cut from iPod sales
After striking a licensing agreement with Microsoft that grants it royalties for each Zune player sold, Universal could now try going after Apple. Universal's Chief Executive Doug Morris has told Reuters that he "may try to fashion an iPod royalty fee with Apple Computer Inc. in the next round of negotiations in early 2007."
Universal shoehorned the royalty agreement into its distribution deal with Microsoft by refusing to license music for the Zune Marketplace unless Microsoft gave the label a cut on each Zune player sold. Morris' reasoning behind the deal was that portable media players are "just repositories for stolen music" and that "it's time to get paid for it." Apple has already had trouble sticking with its static 99 cent pricing scheme for the iTunes Music Store, so the iPod maker may find it difficult to avoid suffering the same fate as Microsoft.