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Downloading of Music Can't Be Stopped by Recording Industry

Martin O'Donnell pointed out the latest "Tech Investor" column in Business 2.0. In it, Eric Hellweg points out that downloading of popular music can't be stopped by the record companies, their industry association, or Congress. Hellweg points to high prices and mediocrity of highly promoted CDs as the major reasons for a 10 percent decrease in overall record sales in 2001. As long as the industry produces "mediocre $18 CDs that typically feature one decent track, maybe two", consumers will look for alternatives that allow them to acquire the few new songs that they like without paying for nine or ten unpopular ones.

Hellweg makes another excellent point when he asks, "With feature-length DVDs retailing for a little more than half {the price of major CD releases}, who can blame consumers for wanting to opt out of the CD purchase?"

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