Canuck iTunes bows late but cheap

Mac attacks the Great White North

MONTREAL — Apple launched its iTunes Music Store in Canada late Thursday, a few days later than expected, and served up a bargain to Canuck music fans.

The songs are selling for C99¢ (84¢) as opposed to 99¢ in the U.S. Stateside fans can take advantage of the cheaper iTunes songs only if they can have them streamed to a Canuck address.

Apple originally said it would launch iTunes in Canada in November.

The iTunes Music Stores in Canada will feature more than 700,000 tracks, compared to its U.S. counterpart’s 1 million tracks, including songs by some of Canada’s best-known artists, such as Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, the Tragically Hip and Diana Krall.

“The demand across Canada for the iTunes Music Store has been overwhelming,” said Eddy Cue, VP of applications at Apple. “We are excited to offer music fans in Canada their own customized iTunes Music.”

Online music sales services already operating locally include Puretracks.com, Archambault.ca, and Napster, the first American musicstore to launch north of the border.

Over the past year, Canadian courts have made a couple of landmark decisions that make it easier to download music in Canada.

A Federal Court ruled that musical file-sharing on the Internet was legal and the Supreme Court ruled that Internet service providers do not have to pay royalties to artists for illegally downloaded files.

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