Really, 4.5 cents per 99 cent sale on iTunes, you really know how to treat your artists well. If you’re not crippling their meatspace releases with DRM then you’re applying the same (none existant) overhead charges to their digital downloads, from the suit filed by Sony artists:

According to the suit, the record company is treating digital downloads like traditional record sales, rather than licensed music, triggering a different royalty deal.

Under that old rubrik, the record company deducts fees for the kind of extra costs they used to incur when records were pressed on vinyl, including packaging charges, restocking costs and losses due to breakage.

The above quote in itself is actually quite interesting as if they are treating digital downloads as sales, where traditionally the companies have stated that you’re buying a licence to play the track; then we the buyer must have the same rights as when they buy a hard copy. Such rights as re-selling the CD etc. to a second hand record store, I wonder if there is a market place for cut-price second hand digital downloads.

The thing I’ve always found annoying about paid for digital downloads, and why I’ve never used them, is that they are generally not any better value than the CD version, which of course has superior audio quality and - in the most part - is DRM free. When you have a distribution channel such as the internet that removes a massive amount of your overheads, duplication, packaging, rack space etc. why the difference in price isn’t greater than it currently is always made me weary that the record companines were just skimming off more profit.