Piracy is not killing the music business.

Piracy is not the reason for the downfall of the music business. It is a scapegoat, in much the same way as the VCR was blamed for problems in the  movie industry. The real problem with the music business has more to do with the fact that music labels have, for the most part, stopped developing artists. The labels have fallen into a trap of pushing easily marketable crap, by throw away artists, and then wondering why they aren’t having long term success. What has to make this even more frustrating for the labels is that they were able to stall the effects of this for a decade or more as a result of the format shifts in the late ’80s and early ’90s. While the 8-track never really took off, the move from vinyl to cassette to cd caused many consumers to buy the albums of the last round of “developed artists” more than once. As an example, I think I’ve owned six or seven copies of Metallica’s debut album Kill Em All. I had it on cassette, one or two versions of vinyl re-releases, two different visions on CD, and an original pressing on vinyl. Many of the albums that I owned in the 90s were purchased on vinyl and cassette, and then CD and cassette until I was able to put a cd player into my car.
The transition from CD to digital copies is where these sins started to come home to roost for the cord companies. When we, as consumers, were able to easily shift formats ourselves, by using iTunes to rip our CDs for use on iPods, the labels felt left out. Even though it is completely legal for users to format shift their CDs, if you ask the labels, they still consider them to be two separate products