Mostly you are exactly right. The one thing I take exception to is: "1.shrink the dynamic range via compression". Yuck!!! That is the one thing that has killed the fidelity of most recent recordings. It has way way more effect on the quality of the recordings you hear than any bit depth or sampling rate change. I bought the Springsteen Pete Seeger tribute CD and only listened to it once because the compression was so bad. You can see examples of this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war. Even the first example here is pretty baddly clipped.
I think changing this might be what Ms Young is up to. Currently mediocre quality has become the norm (audible or not). If he can inspire some interest in higher quality recordings and get a few manufacturers to build players to support them then maybe he can reverse this trend. He even said as much in an interview I read (not the slightest idea where so no link). So, it's not about the absolute format but trying to increase quality across the board and he's using "connect with fans, reason to buy" etc.
BTW, while sample rate etc. doesn't make much difference, the move from stereo to 5.1 is incredable. Check out the DVD Audio version of "Seven Brigges Road" on the end of the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" DVD on a decent home theater system.
You guys seem to be missing the major thrust by UMG here. If UMG owns ALL the music then anything they haven't licensed is pirated by definition. Shouldn't need a court or any of that type of nuisance to be able to take down everything they haven't got an explicite license on.
I was thinking more along the lines of a particular patent not the general sense. If I am not THE inventor then I have no rights (no patent protection). So while the inventor could sell the patent it would be worthless as the buyer wouldn't have any rights under it.
To your point, a corp. (AOL) could own a patent but they couldn't sell their portfolio as it would be worthless to the buyer. Since patent trolls mostly don't generate patents but buy them it kind of eliminates their business model.
"If you choose to speak there, I suppose your speech is at risk until you choose to move it elsewhere. I don't think there is a first amendment right to speak on a site that is engaged in pervasive copyright infringement (assuming that there are plenty of places to speak). "
This is what scares me. He seems to think that it's just fine to stomp on free speech as long as there's somewhere else you can go to do it. You'd think a lawyer would understand the First Amendment even if he doesn't seem to grasp IP law.