The film and TV music license negotiation process is a painfully convoluted & expensive one, to the point where legal infighting has resulted in problems such as the DVDs of classic television series being released with none of the music that made the original series popular. In an effort to get around this process, CBS has decided to re-animate the corpse of their old CBS Music label, which they sold to Sony back in 1988 for a cool $2 billion. The label, which was originally home to such greats as Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan, will be reincarnated as primarily a digital only enterprise. While they will offer some physical media through other labels and distributors, the move is aimed at farming in-house music in order to reduce licensing fees for music used in CBS programs like CSI. As part of the move, they've struck a deal with Apple to sell the music via iTunes, and will also offer music on the CBS website (albeit likely loaded with DRM). The deal should save CBS a significant amount of cash, a large number of headaches, and create a more efficient internal promotional engine -- but it doesn't say much for the existing music licensing system when the only way to solve a logjam is to create an entirely new company and keep everything in-house.
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