General discussion

The Zune's Universal tax

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.

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Zune HD

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

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You're absolutely right

But, I just love the idea that by doing this the RIAA has basically legalized piracy for Zune users. They can all claim they've already paid for their music. And there is no way around this if they are to legally justify their Zune tax. This will make a countersuit real easy. Wink

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