Earlier today, reports emerged that Apple had signed three of the four major labels to support its upcoming cloud service, and was close to signing the fourth, Universal.
But as Peter Kafka correctly points out, the labels aren’t the only parties Apple has to deal with in the insanely complicated world of music licensing.
Usually, labels own the rights to the recordings. But publishers own the rights to the songs.
And so far, Kafka reports, Apple’s label deals don’t include publishing rights from their publishing arms, like Warner-Chappell, EMI Music Publishing, and Sony ATV. Apple has just started talking to the publishers.
Google had a similar problem — it got hung up in negotiations with the big labels and publishers. But it decided to launch its locker service, Google Music (now in beta) anyway.