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iTunes in the Cloud delayed for UK music fans until 2012

Apple's new online music services won't come to the UK until 2012. British record industry wonks have confirmed our suspicions that iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match aren't coming to Blighty any time soon.

Apple's new online music services won't come to the UK until 2012. The British record industry licensing body has confirmed our suspicions that iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match aren't coming to these shores any time soon.

The Performing Right Society (PRS), which sorts out licensing and royalties so artists, composers and labels get paid, is in talks with Apple, but negotiations are at a "very early stage". The Telegraph reports that major record labels have reached "tentative" deals with Jobs' mob, but the services probably won't launch to the great British public until next year.

iTunes in the Cloud has already launched in the US, allowing music fans to buy a song or album and have it automatically downloaded to their iPhone, iPad and all their Apple devices at the same time.

iTunes Match is set to launch in Autumn, with iCloud. Match is more controversial and potentially more problematic for labels. It scans your computer for music that has come from other sources outside iTunes, such as song ripped from CDs, and provides you with an iTunes version of the song. That means for just $25 a year Apple will potentially provide you with a legal version of music that may have come from illegal sources, such as torrent sites.

It looks to us like music laundering, and could look to major labels as if Apple has figured out a way to make money from piracy. Meanwhile, some users are adamant they don't want the contents of their music library reported back to Apple or to the music industry.

Apple, the major labels and record industry body BPI are all keeping quiet about the discussions. We'll keep you posted when we know more.

For all the details on iCloud, iOS 5 and OS X Lion, check out our round-up of everything you need to know.