It's no secret that negotiations between Google
and the recording industry haven't been going very well. Perhaps even less surprising are the reasons behind the stalemate. According to the Hollywood Reporter
, discussions between the two parties have sputtered thanks to three usual suspects: money, file-sharing and concerns over competition. During licensing talks, Google agreed to pay upfront advances to all participating labels, but the major players wanted bigger guarantees. That prompted the indie contingent to ask for similar money, unleashing a snowball of stakes-raising. The two sides also failed to agree on how to handle pirated music, with the industry demanding that Google not only ban illegally downloaded files from users' lockers, but that it erase P2P sites from its search results, as well.
Hovering above all this bargaining was a thick cloud of destabilizing uncertainty. Some execs welcomed the idea of a new iTunes competitor, while others were less enthusiastic, amid concerns that Google Music
wouldn't deliver new revenue streams. The ultimate question, of course, is how negotiations will proceed now that Google's already launched
the service. The labels were warned that Tuesday's I/O
announcement was coming, but the search giant didn't do much to mend fences when it effectively blamed the record execs for holding up negotiations. It's hard to say whether Google's bravado will help or hurt matters, but according to a source from a major label, "People are pissed."