CUPERTINO, CA (Hypebot) –
When a fan buys legal DRM-free MP3, they can listen to it anywhere, right? We'll maybe, say the major labels, as long as they don't store it in or play it from an online music locker.
News last week that Lala.com was shutting down at the end of the month, led to increased speculation that an iTunes cloud based music service would launch soon. Last week, my sources admitted that Apple has made the rounds to discuss options, but none believed that iTunes would launch a new service anytime soon. Now All Things Digital's Peter Kafka is reporting that the reason for the delay is that the major labels believe that they should be paid a premium because any locker based service constitutes multiple uses.
It's unlikely, but Apple could ignore the latest anti-consumer argument by the labels and launch without permission. Then the courts would decide the issue resulting in either a victory for music fans or clear proof that U.S. laws need a major update. Apple's alternative is more likely some kind of music subscription service which thus far failed to find an acceptable balance of both consumer pricing and income for rights holders.