Music Industry: Cha cha cha changes

The news organizations seem to think the Apple/Vivendi talks for Univeral Music are real. Yay, Apple! And they are still saying things like this:

Vivendi had been leaning towards holding on to its music arm until the industry emerged from a slump brought on by rampant piracy, economic uncertainties and competition from other entertainment media.

Excuses, excuses for not giving people what they want, not expanding their markets by embracing technology. Excuses for terrible license agreements that hurt artists. And yet, at the same time, independent record labels are doing great, or so says the Christian Science Monitor:

At a major label, most artists are unlikely to earn anything unless they sell at least 1 million albums, and even then, they could wind up in debt. Everything from studio time to limo rides are charged against their royalties, which might be only $1 per disc sold. That compares with an indie artist, who can sell a disc for $15 at a concert. If they make $5 profit a disc on 5,000 discs, they pocket $25,000.

“That’s the difference between us and them,” Mr. Strang says. “Artists on our label who sell 200,000 copies make a very good living.”

Of course, this might help:

But perhaps the biggest difference is that they let artists keep the rights to their work.

Goodbye, RIAA. And good riddance.