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No Universal generosity on Zune sales

Today Microsoft and Universal announced that Microsoft will offer a share of portion of Zune hardware sales with Universal Music Group, which will in turn presumably share a portion of this revenue with its artists. Microsoft has also openly extended the offer to other labels and, considering it already has the majors lined up for launch, it sounds like an offer that they can’t refuse.

No terms of the deal are disclosed, of course, but unless the labels are eager to change practices that have earned the outrage of artists, consumers have good reason to question how much of their Wi-Fi-enabling wampum will end up on the arms of artists, especially emerging artists who could use it most.

If consumers want to boost their conscience by buying a digital music player this holiday season, there’s a far more direct route.