The music industry has been so intent on keeping people from copying music that they have alienated their customers even though there is no definitive data tying the drop in CD sales to copying CDs or downloading MP3s illegally. CDs are bulky and inconvenient in comparison to an MP3 player, so it seems perfectly natural to switch to a more convenient medium. If the music industry would embrace MP3s as a new medium, just like CDs were to cassette tapes, then they could address the problem of violated copyrights if that ever became an issue. There’s no conclusive evidence it would even hurt sales given the success of iTunes and Yahoo! Music Unlimited. Sharing music with friends should be encouraged on a moderate scale because it will create new fans and customers. Anyone found sharing unreasonable amounts of copyrighted music could be identified and prosecuted instead of going after teenagers who are just sharing music they like with their friends. Artists are also beginning to realize that the internet is a great way to distribute and market their music, diminishing the need for a big name music label to be successful. If that trend continues, the music industry might be out of a job and they would have only themselves to blame.

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