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Guilty verdict in music file-sharing case: Minnesota woman Jammie Thomas, accused of illegally sharing music files on Kazaa, has been found guilty of willful copyright infringement. The jury ordered single mother Jennie Thomas to pay $9,250 for each of the 24 songs she was found to have shared, though they could have awarded as much as $3.6 million or as little as $18,000. Is justice served?

Microsoft visionary Bill Gates offers his opinion on the
future of the music biz:
He suggested that music labels should push harder to sell all-you-can-eat subscriptions that let users download much more music that they keep as long as they continue paying. Microsoft is one of a handful of companies that have been negotiating with the music industry over a subscription-based program known as Total Music. “Subscriptions have absolutely been a mixed story and are not the mainstream thing today,”Mr. Gates said.

People are going to listen to a lot more music because it’s going to be easy to find neat new exciting music, its going to be easy to have your music with you, in the car, when you’re running,” he said. “It seems like there ought to be a way to translate that into an opportunity.”

More Radiohead Shakeups: “This feels like yet another death knell,” emailed an A&R executive at a major European label. “If the best band in the world doesn’t want a part of us, I’m not sure what’s left for this business.”

“That’s the interesting part of all this,” says a producer who works primarily with American rap artists. “Radiohead is the best band in the world; if you can pay whatever you want for music by the best band in the world, why would you pay $13 dollars or $.99 cents for music by somebody less talented? Once you open that door and start giving music away legally, I’m not sure there’s any going back.”

The Bottom Line: I believe many are blowing this Radiohead frenzy out of proportion. Remember, it’s a game and press. I respect the fact that Radiohead is thinking outside the box and creating this discussion and chatter. Its genius. Regardless, the “Pay What you Want” model is not the future, but, it was perfectly fitting for one the biggest cult bands.

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