Music-Industry Honcho Wants To Make More Bread

morris.jpgIt’s been a few weeks since we heard from Doug “The Thug” Morris, the Universal Music Group CEO responsible for cracking down on MySpace, YouTube and Zune (and who’s indirectly responsible for the Bloodhound Gang being foisted upon the general public). Now he’s setting his sights on Apple, whose licensing deal with Universal is up for renewal in May; the speculation is that Morris will want a percentage of iPod sales, a scenario that could send the music industry into full-fledged state of higgedly-piggeldy. An AP story paints Morris as a regular Joe, one who wants to make sure his industry isn’t run into the ground by piracy:

Morris isn’t sure he is cut out for the role of enforcer but believes he has no choice. ‘The truth is that I’m the most unlikely candidate because I don’t like being in the middle of the sandwich,’ he said.

Ah, but what would type of sandwich would he be, exactly? Morris clearly wants everyone to believe that he’s a Po’ Boy, but he’s not getting much sympathy from us: The war on Internet music distribution is like the war on drugs, and Morris and his pals will be stuck turning their deep pockets inside-out as the one-a-day calendar pages fly off the wall. If there are going to be some pre-dawn raids, best to go after Apple and Microsoft rather than YouTube and MySpace, as Jobs and Gates might be scared enough to pony up. Besides, you guys chose long ago to treat music videos and streaming audio as free advertising; you can’t blame us for getting used to them.

Universal CEO tough on licensing deals [AP]

  • Chris Molanphy

    Morris can pretend all he wants that he came to a reasoned, logical conclusion about digital music as events unfolded over the years, but I have it on good authority that this has been The Thug’s white whale for years now, well before the iPod took off.

    Six years ago someone very close to me worked as an assistant to one of The Thug’s closest media-industry friends – taking Friend Of Thug’s calls daily, reading e-mails, etc. And even back then, The Thug was railing against Napster and its brethren like George Costanza convinced he’d been screwed out of a deal on a vibrating La-Z-Boy.

  • Jupiter8

    It’s this kind of forward thinking that’s helped to make the music industry what it is today…