The music industry scored a famous victory by settling for a 243 million Euro settlement. The irony is that the payment was in regard to Napster, which died a death long long ago, and that the fee payer was actually one of the major labels: BMG (now of course part of SonyBMG). The money will be paid to publishers and follows previous similarly large payments to Universal and EMI.
Bertlesmann (parent of BMG) has effectively paid the price for daring buy Napster with a view to developing its own legitimate business around the user base. The great irony (yes another one) is that this pretty much what the framework agreement between all four majors and Kazaa provides for. And the even greater irony (last one, I promise) is that this is the exact sort of strategy that the music industry needs to be implementing alongside enforcement strategies. As our latest report on the topic shows, file sharing is not going away.
In dangerously over-simplified terms, the music industry needs to chose between harnessing young music fansí existing behaviour through innovative solutions or instead losing them for good.