Bizarre move out of the IFPI. It's gleefully announced a new deal, in conjunction with the London Police and Visa and MasterCard to cut off credit card services to online music stores
who the IFPI accuses of selling infringing MP3s. This is really targeting sites like MP3Fiesta, which is sort of a modern version of Allofmp3.com. Of course, what they seem to be missing is that both of these sites were examples of people, who would otherwise likely be downloading totally unauthorized versions, being willing to pay for MP3s at a much more reasonable price. What I never understood was why the music industry never realized that these sites actually showed a business model that worked
. Tons of people were happy to pay for the music when the prices seemed much more reasonable. What these services really showed was how much the industry has artificially inflated the price of music.
But, of course, in cutting off credit cards to those sites, two simple things are likely to happen in response: first, those sites will simply find alternative payment means. That may still limit some, but it hardly stops these sites from existing. But, more importantly, if people can't get music at these prices, it seems a lot more likely that they'll shift to totally free options, rather than go back to paying $0.99 per song (or more!). So, effectively, all this move really does is drive more people to stop paying for music. Is that what the record labels pay the IFPI to do these days?