April is starting off with a bang... as the press seems to simply be rehashing stories from two years ago. In early April of 2004, we pointed to a story about the record labels trying to pressure Steve Jobs into raising the price of songs on iTunes, or doing creatively stupid things, such as forcing users to buy a bad song with each good song they want to purchase (that'll really win over the music fans). A little less than a year later, the press trotted out the same story in early 2005. It was a slow summer, so the story came up again last August, at which point we noted that this sounded quite a bit like illegal price fixing. Wholesalers aren't supposed to have any say about retail pricing -- and, in fact, the record labels got in trouble for doing that with CD prices just a few years ago. Late last year, Eliot Spitzer suddenly recognized this was happening and started an investigation which was copied last month by the Feds. With so much attention concerning whether or not the labels are involved in price fixing attempts concerning digital music, you'd think they'd be working overtime to keep more news stories quiet. Nope. It's April again, and so we have yet another article (perhaps they just reprinted ones from the past) about how the labels are upset about Steve Jobs' grip on retail music download prices. I imagine that a year from now, they'll still be unhappy and we'll be treated to yet another article.
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