European iTunes Music Store Delayed

The Independent (UK) is reporting that the European version of the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) has been delayed. According to the report, the source of the delay is the patchwork of laws from country to country that is making negotiations with labels and artists harder than it was in the States. The article quotes Pascal Cagni, Appleis vice president of Europe. From The Independent:

In Europe, though, different artists can have different arrangements in each country over how much they are paid for a digital download - if such clauses are in their contract at all. That has caused headaches for Apple, which wants to take advantage of its momentum in the US to roll the program out in the rest of the world.

Pascal Cagni, vice-president of Appleis European operations, said yesterday: "In Europe the legal environment [for licensing songs for download] is more complicated than in the US, so the one-price-fits-all system that the US uses is difficult to do here. And the major labels themselves havenit sorted out their rights."

Mr. Cagni declined to put a date on the timing of the launch, but insisted it would not be ready by September, contrary to some reports. One music industry source said yesterday: "I donit suspect Apple will have this in Europe until next year."

Thereis more information in the full story at The Independentis Web site.