Friday, November 17, 2006

Biting the Hand That Feeds

In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Universal Music Group (UMG) CEO Doug Morris claims portable digital music players are "repositories for stolen music and they all know it". This, he mused, was justification for Microsoft paying royalties for the privilege to sell its Zune device. Something here just doesn't make sense to me. The amount of "pirated" music is dwindling by the day. File sharing application use is constantly dwindling. Legal digital music sales are constantly growing. CD sales are up, despite what the record labels and the RIAA would have you believe. So, if all of this music is in fact stolen, where is it coming from and how are the record companies still making billions of dollars every year? Unfortunately for Microsoft, Morris and his cronies are still bitter about Apple outsmarting them and are taking pent up frustrations out on them. Of course, this is chump change, or something less than and more insignificant than chump change, for Microsoft. In fact, I'm sure they'll be glad to pay the royalty because it will mean their device is actually selling. Microsoft's indifference to money aside, has anyone ever openly berated their customers like this? Personally, I will refrain from purchasing any music in any format of any UMG artists or labels and I hope many others will do the same. I guess I just have a hard time buying something from someone accusing me of stealing it in the first place.

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