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Apple to Launch iTMS Europe June 15, Sources Confirm

TMO Reports - Apple to Launch iTMS Europe June 15, Sources Confirm

by , 2:00 PM EDT, June 7th, 2004

Apple Computer will announce June 15 the launch of its European version of the online iTunes Music Store, sources have confirmed to The Mac Observer.

To solidify the report of the iTMS European launch, journalists have also begun receiving invitations to the press event in London, suggesting in its language that such an announcement is imminent. Similar details have also been confirmed by the Reuters news service.

Music Industry sources and sources inside Apple's European operation began informing TMO over the weekend that a press event had been planned and that they had already been beta testing the iTMS for a number of weeks. These same sources confirm the service will be available on June 15.

The launch has been expected for months, but a number of reputable news organizations, including the Wall Street Journal, have recently reported that complex licensing negotiations have been going on to get the download count for iTMS to an acceptable level. The problems have reportedly been legal issues related to more than 10 different copyright laws in various countries, including European Union law.

Apple is playing catch up in the Europe online music store war, with the launch of Roxio's Napster service in Britain on May 20. The service launched with 500,000 music tracks, the company said. Napster announced Monday it had extended its music library to 700,000 songs, making it the largest online music library in Europe.

It is not known exactly how many music tracks iTMS Europe will launch with or how many countries will be served.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the report, which is standard procedure regarding unannounced products or services.

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