Sound CheckMusic downloading services are getting their legal act together, but they haven't yet been able to take it on the road. Apple's iTunes Music Store has rung up 14 million sales in the U.S. since its April launch. Napster, the music industry's original villain, reopens in the U.S. this week as a paid, copyright-friendly service. But users in Europe won't be listening in to either any time soon. Apple is unlikely to offer iTunes in Europe before mid-2004, with Napster waiting even longer to make the crossing. Lengthy negotiations to secure licenses from the major record labels don't help.
"Deals will probably have to be negotiated in separate countries for Europe," says Simon Dyson, senior analyst at the Informa Media Group in London. "Some artists won't want their
The E.U.? You'll Fit Right In!
Poland's economic troubles deepened late last week as the Polish zloty, wobbling with uncertainty over government fiscal policies, hit new lows against the euro (€1 equals 4.66 zlotys), squeezing imports and pushing up interest rates on euro loans. Meanwhile the country's budget deficit a whopping 5.2% of GDP is ringing alarm bells in Brussels as Poland prepares to join the E.U. next year, and the euro zone, possibly, in 2007. Leszek Miller's government is backing a tough new austerity package, cutting spending by €6.9 billion within four years. Among other things it will overhaul the pension system (Poland is the biggest disability-pensions payer in Europe) and increase social-security rates for wealthier Poles. But with public confidence in the Prime Minister currently at 25%, down from 63% in October 2001 when he took office, Miller faces a tough selling job.
Agreeing To Disagree
A U.S. judge declared a mistrial in the case against former Crédit Suisse First Boston banker Frank Quattrone. Jurors failed to reach a verdict on charges that he interfered with federal investigations into alleged unfair allocations of shares to clients in 2000. Quattrone could face a second trial.
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