Here's a novel idea: the main reason CD sales are down and the music industry is tanking has nothing to do with the illegal downloading or copying of CDs but rather with the fundamental law of capitalism, you know, that one about supply and demand.
In a nutshell, the prices of CDs are just too damn high!!! It's as simple as that and no amount of DRM is going to save their greedy little butts.
I went to the NYC Times Square Virgin Megastore today to pick up a copy of the new Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris CD and yes it was on sale but for $14.99. Now you can call me cheap or old or whatever but $14.99 used to be the list price of a new CD not the "on sale" price. Sorry Mark, and I love you Emmylou, but I'll just wait for my local library to get a copy and then have a listen (and maybe it'll burn it's way into my collection, nod, nod, wink, wink).
The music and movie industries are two examples of industries which respond to market forces in the exactly opposite way one learns in business 101. The music industry in the face of sagging CD sales just continues to keep on raising prices and the movie industry in the face of booming DVD sales is looking for ways to kill the home theater market. By that I mean the movie studio's insistence of outrageous copy protection schemes on hd-dvd and blu-ray discs, which may prove to be the fatal blow for these as yet unproven formats.
Watching the music industry self destruct over these past few years has lead me to reaccess some long held beliefs I've had regarding the collapse of another great American industry.
At one time I believed that the once mighty railroads were systematically destroyed by the gas, tire and automobile industries but now I am beginning to see things in another light. Now I can see how the high and mighty railroads, when faced with the challenge of the then upstart and small time trucking companies responsed in much the same as the music industry has responded to the challenge of mp3s and downloading, they may have just stuck their heads up their own backsides saying "We're the mighty railroads, you can't hurt us!" When they should have been looking for ways to work with the trucking companies instead of resisting them and thereby bringing about their own downfall that much sooner.
I also wonder if the SUV has done a similar thing for the American automobile industry. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s they should have been working on hybrid and other alternative energy technologies but the time was wasted in hot pursuit of the fast buck via the giant SUV. Could come back to haunt them.
Anyway, I'm getting a bit off topic here. CD prices are too high. Period.