Apple's Sept. 12 rollout of its sleek new iPhone 5, upgraded iPod Nano and Touch models, and long overdue relaunch of its iTunes stores was all good news to the music industry's ears
But the company was conspicuously quiet about its plans to invade the Internet custom radio space, currently occupied by Pandora, Slacker and Clear Channel's iHeartRadio. That initiative -- first revealed Sept. 7 by the Wall Street Journal -- startled the music industry, mainly because Apple had yet to discuss its plans with all the majors, let alone its independent music partners. But since then, Apple has called the major players it had yet to brief, and consequently more details are starting to emerge.
Initial reports indicated that Apple planned to cut direct deals with labels for rights and royalty rates, which would allow it to operate a custom radio streaming service with more bells and whistles than Pandora and iHeartRadio offer. But it now appears that Apple is starting with the parameters of a compulsory license and then negotiating waivers to certain elements mandated under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in order to obtain the interactive features and the rates it wants