Apple's online music service could be coming soon - free and unrestricted

Apple is trying to directly license music in order to offer an online radio service not restricted by the DMCA

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  • More than three songs from the same album within a three hour period, if more than 2 such songs are played consecutively
  • More than four songs from the same artist in a three hour period, if more than 3 such songs are played consecutively

More simply, you can’t, for example, play a whole album or have a tribute show to a particular artist.

The Performance Complement also has a number of other requirements, such as no prior announcements of songs, restrictions on replaying archived shows, requirements to display “now playing” information, etc. But it’s those first two clauses, along with the non-interactivity requirement, that music streamers often find to be restrictive and which Apple, no doubt, is interested in negotiating away.

As it was put recently by Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTG, in an interview with Bloomberg News, Apple is “seeking direct licenses to avoid all the restrictions that come with a compulsory license.”

Of course, the deals Apple is negotiating with labels are not at all done, and the terms may have to change substantially if deals are to happen at all

But if Apple is successful in making such a deal, you can soon look forward to a new free online music service that will be able to offer, say, a whole hour - or channel! - devoted to The Captain & Tennille’s greatest hits! Not that I’m wishing for that, of course; just speaking hypothetically. Honest.

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