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iTunes Music Store Canada... Soon? [Updated]

One reader forwarded a reply from the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) to an inquiry about bringing the iTunes Music Store to Canada.



According to the reply from David Basskin, CMRRA's President, licensing issues have indeed kept Apple from launching iTunes Canada, but the wheels are now in motion:



    I'm happy to say that the process of negotiating a licensing deal with Apple is now under way. I met last week with representatives of the company, and I'm confident that our discussions will move ahead quickly. Last week, Steve Jobs told me that Apple couldn't wait to come to Canada, and that it was a very high priority for him. I trust that this enthusiasm will be reflected in a quick and mutually successful negotiation.



Recent emails from the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) have reported that they, however, have not been contacted yet by Apple (as of last week).



Apple's iTunes Music Store launched for the Mac in April and for Windows last week. The service is currently limited to customers in the United States. Meanwhile, the most recent target date for iTunes Europe is rumored to be May 2004.



Update: David Basskin provides some clarification about the role of the CMRRA in the comments:



    Our company represents music publishers (and the songwriters they represent) and we will be licensing Apple in order to authorize them to make and sell reproductions of our clients' songs. Apple will make separate arrangements with the record labels for the use of their recordings.

And invites any further questions on the CMRRA at their Ask a Question page.