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Extreme Dominance

Guest Paul

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Due to endless mergers and takeovers there are only four major record companies left - Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner - and it may not be long before there are only three.

Most disturbing is the trend - particularly with Universal - to buy active companies which are closed within weeks.

Universal, who are now trying to buy V2, recently purchased Sanctuary and closed it down with the loss of 80 jobs. They got their hands on Sanctuary's catalogues- including Trojan and Pye - but I doubt Universal will do anything creative with the bulk of the product.

Look how badly they handle the Motown and Chess catalogues for example. All we get are dull and predictable compilations, usually offering poor value for money.

As for digital downloads, Universal have only recently begun to consider allowing DRM-free downloads of some tracks from their vast catalogues - but not via iTunes.

As an iTunes and Napster customer I object to paying subscriptions and download fees for tracks which are "locked" in an attempt to prevent me from playing them on anything other than an authorised PC or an iPod player. The obvious risk is that customers will feel cheated and will look for "other ways" to obtain music. The result is a further loss of income for the struggling music industry but that's how greedy and short-sighted the major companies are.

The music industry continues to face many probelms but most of them have been caused by the major companies themselves.

Paul Mooney

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Paul surely there is a way of unlocking them?

Hello Pete,

Yes there are ways of unlocking the files but it means that, with napster for example, people who have the ability to unlock files don't need to pay individual download fees because they can access 99% of locked files under their monthly subscriptions.

They won't pay extra for something they can get for free.

It's as if napster are giving customers an incentive to beat their unfair system. My point is that napster - and the major companies - are actually responsible for their own problems.

It makes you wonder who's in charge.


Paul Mooney

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