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Zune Launch: Interview, Scott Erickson, Senior Product Manager, Zune

A few nuggets from a launch-day interview with Scott Erickson, a Zune senior product manager working with advertising and marketing, as well as other aspects.

Deals with the labels: Erickson confirmed that Universal Music Group is the only record company with a device royalty. “Right now that deal is just with Universal … We’re definitely in talks with other labels.”

Sharing limits could change: Erickson said the three plays in three days limit is subject to change. It could be five plays in five days or some other mix. “I think for music it is a balancing act,” he explained. When I asked about the built-in damper on viral music — a shared song cannot be passed along — he said the one person limit was meant as protection against piracy but that stricture could change as well. I’m less certain that Microsoft would be open to lifting the inability to share non-DRM protected music. Zune actually prevents sharing of any audio file, which sounds like a hack challenge if I’ve ever heard one; although images can be shared multiple times. Erickson added, “I think you