[W]e have a business that's dying. There won't be any major labels pretty soon. [They'll surely not be missed!]
In 2000, U.S. consumers bought 785.1 million albums; last year, they bought 588.2 million [A 25% decline.]
In 2000, the ten top-selling albums in the U.S. sold a combined 60 million copies; in 2006, the top ten sold just 25 million [Ouch!]
More than 5,000 record-company employees have been laid off since 2000. [That
About 2,700 record stores have closed across the country since 2003, [Including all the local stores around here.]
Around sixty-five percent of all music sales now take place in big-box stores such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, which carry fewer titles than specialty stores and put less effort behind promoting new artists. [Rough on the artists, that.]
The Internet appears to be the most consequential technological shift for the business of selling music since the 1920s, when phonograph records replaced sheet music as the industry's profit center. [No! Really?]
[M]any in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels' failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. "They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster — that was the moment that the labels killed themselves," [Not that we in the online world didn't realize it at the time...]
In the fall of 2003, the RIAA filed its first copyright-infringement lawsuits against file sharers. They've since sued more than 20,000 music fans.
... there was a 4.4 percent increase in the number of peer-to-peer users in 2006, with about a billion tracks downloaded illegally per month, [Guess that didn't work out too well, did it?]
The requirement for a passport at all US borders is an issue local commerce between Washington State and Canada, and the new driver's license is less expensive then a passport, but what "other" costs will it create?"They will look much like conventional driver's licenses, but will be loaded with proof of citizenship and other information that can be easily scanned at the border."
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