While I try to avoid John Gruber's Daring Fireball website as much as possible since his true colors really came out before, during, and after the most recent mid-term elections, and for the simple fact he joined the ranks of Bill Palmer for not sending me my dang T-Shirt ... I have to admit that he's still a great writer - although I still despise (not in a jealous way mind you) that he's the darling of the Mac editorial/blog world right now.
Anyway ... yesterday, Gruber published a feature titled, "A Conjectural Transcript Of The Upcoming Negotiations Between Apple and Universal Music". It was a great read, but since I have a real crystal ball and can actually see into the future ... the ACTUAL negotiations I think will be much shorter ... although I feel the conversation will start in the same way so I will just quote Gruber to start.
[Place & Time] Early 2007. The Executive Boardroom, Universal Music Group Headquarters; Santa Monica, California
A large table dominates the room. Seated on one side is Universal Music CEO Doug Morris and six Universal attorneys, three on each side of Morris. On the other side sits Steve Jobs and one Apple attorney. On the table in front of Morris and each of the Universal attorneys are various neatly stacked folders, contracts, and legal pads. In front of Jobs the table is completely clear; he holds nothing in his hands.
Morris: Steve, it’s great to see you again. I hope your flight was good.
Jobs: It was terrific, thanks.
Morris: Well, let’s get right down to it. I’m sure you heard, together with our friends at Microsoft, we created a really interesting arrangement for their “Zune”. What it is, is that for each hardware unit Microsoft sells, Universal gets a small fee. A nominal fee.
Morris uses his fingers to indicate the quotes.
Jobs: Yes. Very interesting.
Gruber continues by saying that the conversation ends with Jobs telling Doug Morris to stick the Zune up his Wazoo (in more dramatic gross detail as Gruber tends to write).
I say the conversation picks up here:
A brief pause in the conversation ...
Jobs: I heard through the DIGGvine that it was "$1 per Zune sold" ... I agree ... done deal. Apple will pay Universal $1 per iPod sold ... starting in July 2007.
Jobs turns to the Apple counsel and indicates arched shoulders with his hands on each armrest of the chair
Jobs: So that's it guys ... great meeting!
Morris wide eyed
Morris: So that's it ... you ... you agree?
Jobs and Apple counsel leave the room and as he reaches the doorway says,
Jobs: You betcha.
While on the way to the limo waiting just beyond the turnstyle entrance to Universal Headquaters
Jobs: That was great. Lets wait a week or two into August to announce new pricing at the iTunes Music Store.
Apple Counsel: I follow you, I think
Jobs: Since we don't have to pay them on a per song basis any more we should effectively be able to reduce all Universal titles to 49 cents per song
Apple Counsel: I'll draw up the formal agreement Steve
Jobs: Gosh, I hope the other labels want that deal ... we're going to make millions! I feel like we just walked out of PARC!*
* Legend goes that Jobs and Wozniak first discovered the Graphical User Interface and Mouse interaction at Xerox's PARC facility and integrated it into the Mac GUI.