I figured ehMacians were on this. Just saw some more recent headlines - even one dated May 17th (as the one that I posted).
Muddy indeed. Had a meeting with some folks @ EMI - and the majors are all into what is happening here @ Apple. They are apparently not getting the full royalty rates - or at least are getting a reduced one (did I just repeat myself?). But they are keeping a really close eye on this. Look for some additional announcements on the Canadian end - as I was told. But not yet from Apple Canada...
There's a piece by Jack Kapica in todays Globe and Mail about the licensing companies shooting themselves in the foot (and being apparently in denial about the success of legal download services like iTMS). He notes a Vancouver based anti-piracy software company, Covenent, harping that users will hack iTunes to recreate a P2P network. Quite apart from the vested/conflict of interest such a company has in saying that, it's also preposterous. It makes you wonder if the industry wants to make headway. Music lovers have categorically demonstrated their contempt for clumsy DRM and the lack of convenience and freedom it forces. So more DRM ain't going to cut it.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. My bet is that money talks and the fat revenue stream issuing from the iTMS will eventually trump the restrictive and protective practice ideology that currently dominates the music exec offices.