Today EMI Music announced that they would allow people to buy digital downloads with no copying restrictions. All I can say is, it's about time, don't you think?
Here is the Wall Street Journal article from today.
Having been around since mp3.com (and an original shareholder - that was a good ride for a while), I always really agreed with Michael Robertson - the record companies let the Genie out of the bottle when they created CDs. Once they released the music in digital form, the bits and bytes get hard to hang on to. And, if the record company was very happy to take our money when we converted the music (vinyl albums) we owned to digital form by purchasing the CDs, shouldn't we have the right to move it from there onto our computer, iPod, Walkman or wherever? Do they have the right to charge us again every time we move it to a different machine or format?
YES, I know the argument that this doesn't solve the problem of people illegally sharing song files or downloading the music without buying it. But suing college kids probably isn't the solution either. If the music has value, people will pay for it - once. If they like it, they will come back for more. And if you give them unfettered access, they are more likely to pay the $1.00 entrance fee, knowing they get to keep the music with them, wherever (and however) they go.