Oh look, it's been 3 years and the Zune HD is only sold in the US. I think it's because they pay the record labels for each country?
what do you think
In Thursday's podcast, Tom suggests that a potential upside to Microsoft's recently-publicized royalty agreement with Universal is that it might eventually help lead to DRM-free music; in particular, he suggests that "if we got to the point where the music just became freely distributed and the money was made off the players, I might be for that."
Greater philosophical arguments between socialism and capitalism aside, I think the crucial thing being overlooked here is that if hardware manufacturers were to pay a royalty to the major studios in exchange for free music for their customers, then only those artists under the umbrella of the RIAA would ever be paid; truly great independent artists such as Aloha and The Mercury Program would be completely shut out.
Such a system would only serve to further institutionalize the RIAA's stranglehold on the US music industry. DRM or not, I hope that such a thing never comes to pass.