DOJ Smacks Subpoenas Down On Music Industry

Surprise, surprise. The Department of Justice has started issuing subpoenas against the music industry, including Sony BMG and Warner, for price fixing and collusion. Since it’s a sloppy Reuters brief we’re linking to here, mainly consisting of a list of the companies involved, here’s a blockquote with the summary gyst:

The two music industry sources on Thursday said the DOJ’s probe appeared to be focused on the same issues, which included whether the labels colluded to set wholesale pricing for song downloads.

The investigation also could be related to licensing renegotiations with Apple, maker of the wildly popular iPod digital music player, for its iTunes store, industry sources have said.

Last September, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs called the music industry “greedy” for considering hiking digital download prices and warned the move could drive iPod users to piracy.

All our objectivity goes out the window when it comes to reporting on the RIAA’s heavy-handed tactics to maintain the status quo of their 21st century business obsolescence. We hate these assholes. If this DOJ investigation helps perform a Paul Sheldon style hobbling of companies like Sony BMG and cause them to radically rethink their approach towards consumers, we’re all for it.

Link: DOJ opens probe into online music pricing: sources

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  1. TedSez says:

    Even if price-fixing weren’t an issue, 99 cents per song (or an incredible $2.50 for a VCast download on my Verizon cell phone) is much too high. What most people want is an economical way to listen to a wide variety of music. If they charged one-quarter the price per song, I’d probably try out ten times the number of songs I do now. Since that would cost the record companies little more in distribution fees, they’d end up with higher profits anyway.

  2. Brian Gee says:

    Check out http://www.allofmp3.com. Its a music store in Russia, and with the exchange rates most albums end up around $1.50, and songs are about 10-20 cents. You can even pick the format (mp3, ogg, wmv, at various bitrates, even uncompressed wav), and you pay by the megabyte.

    It seems legal. I think of it as a good-faith showing that I’m willing to puchase non-DRM-crippled digital music at a reasonable price.

    Its make music fun for me again, since I can afford to “experiment” with different artists and genres that I’d otherwise skip at $15/pop.

    The iTunes store (and all the other label-approved DRM-stores) don’t cut it for me. If I can’t legally listen to the music I *buy* why waste my money?

    Itunes music will only play on a few of the devices I own. Allofmp3 music plays everywhere.