And offers some odd lessons, IMHO: Napster’s learning curve
We were naive about what the labels would or could agree to. It was not reasonable to expect that we could challenge their fundamental business model, and then agree to work together as partners. It is now clear that they couldn’t have made a deal with Napster even if they wanted to. Their existing contracts with the artists had no royalty provisions for digital distribution of individual songs. The payments to artists were all based on CD sales through the normal retail channels. It took them several years to rewrite their contracts with artists to get to the point where today you can buy a single song via digital download.