Every time I turn around it seems like one of the music industry organizations is doing the darnedest to destroy what's left of the tenuous grasp they have on their fate. Add to this companies like Wal-Mart turning off their DRM servers leaving hordes of purchasers with little to no option other than finding some way of negating the DRM. Now, it would seem that Apple has the same dumb-stick beating them about the head and shoulders, as they threaten to shutdown iTunes in response to the Copyright Royalty Board threatening to raise the royalties paid to the publishers by 66% to .15 per purchase.
All of this has nothing to do with the bands, the music, or the consumer; it is simply another way for a large corporation to illustrate that they can influence governments, other companies and organizations and continue to siphon money out of everyone's pockets. The RIAA sues people without computers, 12 year old kids and dead people, while claiming to represent the interests of the artists. With Apple firmly in the sites of this ship of fools, they have decided that the revenue from the 500 million or so downloads is not enough. It's pretty easy to do the math here too, .9 cents per song, times 500 million; so I guess 45 million bucks is just not enough money.
I know I have said this before, but the Recording Industry as a whole is making it virtually impossible for people to want to get songs legally. Every time they screw over another company or consumer, they push more people into the realm of downloading music via nefarious means. It's an endless cycle of incurably retarded behaviour that seems to have no end.
If Apple is forced to absorb this rate increase, and shuts down iTunes I don't know what I will ultimately do. I have hundreds of albums that I have purchased through iTunes. What I do know is that if Apple actually kills iTunes, they will not be able to pass it off and divert blame and all of the associated rage that will follow that decision. Steve jobs is heralded as being a shrewd and intelligent businessman, so I would suspect that this is just chest pounding since a move like that could quite easily send Apple into an unrecoverable downward spiral, alienating potential buyers as well destroying relationships with their core group of zealots.
I'm sure this isn't then end of it, but this war on music isn't doing anything but making it harder for good musicians to get folks to buy their music.