Apple is considering shutting down iTunes in an effort to protest royalty hikes. iTunes is currently paying artists 9 cents for each song that is downloaded, but they want more. Much more. 15 cents per song to be exact.
"Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to rule on a request from the National Music Publishers' Association to increase royalty rates paid to its members on songs purchased from online music stores like iTunes," according to Fortune.
iTunes Vice President Eddy Cue said, "If the [iTunes music store] was forced to absorb any increase in the ... royalty rate, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss — which is no alternative at all," Cue wrote. "Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it is in this business to make money, and most likely would not continue to operate [the iTunes music store] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably."
That 6-cent jump would result in 66% hike in royalty fees, and Apple is not having it! The board will reportedly come to an agreement this week. It's pretty unlikely that iTunes would shut down given the fact that Apple sells tons of iPods and iPhones each day, but its clear Apple is trying to a big statement.