And I have to say I apologize, I'm at work atm and don't have time to read through the entire piece (i'll read through it when I get home) but just a humble opinion on a few areas of the music industry.
Firstly executives. Why do they get so much? I mean that in all honesty, I've read about artists who've been one hit wonders etc, sold a few million records / singles / albums from their first release and then never heard of again. Those people probably bought their record companies a few million in profit (assuming say, £2 profit per CD sold) and yet many of them see pennies per CD as their royalty check. While the record company makes a few million they make a few thousand.
This I can understand back in ye olden days. Record companies had all the risk. If they made too many CDs they'd fail to sell half and lose money, so having a bigger cut of the pie was a fair approach. But i the modern day with digital distribution, and the recording media so much cheaper to mass produce, the same cut should no longer apply.
In a lot of cases these days all a publisher does is act as a publicist. Somebody who should by all means in every other market get a paycheck equal to time worked. But instead they're still raking it in. It just seems like the royalties split is one of the biggest issues with modern music.
And further to that point, Digital distribution vs CD. Digital distribution has far fewer costs, no cost to make CDs, box art, shipping, handling, and I'm pretty certain the distributors cut is lower than the cut a store normally makes. (or about on par), so why is it so many companies charge just as much for a digital copy on itunes, as they do for the tracks portion on an album?
It's an out moded business model that needs to adjust payment splits and pricing scheme for a modern digital era.
As to the copyright point. I agree to an extent with what somebody said earlier. After a certain period of an item being out of production, or selling below a certain volume of units it should become available freely, or at the very least they could put it up online somewhere. This doesn't just apply to the music industry, but to film too. There are many songs, movies, games which aren't made any more. Are impossible to get, and yet it's still piracy if you download it.
Now once again I can understand that they stopped producing songs on CD etc when they no longer prove profitable. But with the digital age once more they could put everything online and solve this problem. But there are still songs / movies / games you can't get because the publisher wants to keep exclusive rights or some other equally silly reason.
And finally depreciation of value. If you look at cars as the example in this respect you buy a car for £5000 and in a decade it's value drops to £500, 10% of it's original value. Even brand new it's only selling for £2000 now.
Music can be out for decades and no change in price (except when they're trying to shift the last 10 units in stock) I'll see tracks on itunes which were set at £1.99 or something like that 5 years ago, and still keep that price. If everything else depricates in value, why not the songs? I know they're timeless and I wouldn't expect them to drop to pennies, but any drop would be nice in some cases. Especially when you consider once again that, for the publisher there is no risk in sale.
And once more this applies to other industries. Take the PS3 store as an example. There are games released in stores brand new on release day for £39.99 which you then see on the PS3 store for £50.
A year later you go into the store, the game is no longer selling and the price has dropped to £17.99, and yet on the playstation online store it's still listed at £50, they need a deprication model in place to lower the price to a certain point as time passes or demand wains.
Just my humble opinion mind you.