This is good news: MacWorld.com reports that iTunes will soon list the Beattles songs. The price of these songs will be $1.29. I think the price is outrageous; however, I would love to see elastic prices on iTunes. The idea that every song is worth the same price ($0.99) is ridiculous. Price elasticity is one of the primary components of the free market. I would love to see this market get to the point where we had different media coming at us from different channels (with artists and studios having enough control over distribution that the market doesn't devolve into a free for all where artists are incapable of selling their wares.)
I do not believe you can derive a perfect copyright law from the aether. Markets really need the flexibility to experiment with different ideas. The Napster ideal was that, if you could get your hands on media, you should be able to republish it. Napster destroyed the flexibility to experiment with different pricing schemes. All music, movies and media would become free the moment someone republished the music by dragging it into their Napster directory.
The pendulum swung to excessively restrictive DRM. Hopefully, we can find a sane balance where common sense fair use restrictions apply. The interest has created a situation where we are all publishers ... however, we should have respect for the creators of content.
Apparently part of the reason for the $1.29 price is that the EMI songs will have a higher quality and not include DRM. It is great that we are seeing groups differentiate their products on multiple levels.
In this regard I actually prefer the Movielink model to iTunes. MovieLink includes two levels for their products. You can "rent" a movie online. A rented movie automatically deletes itself after a set period of time. You pay more and buy a movie. You get to keep the bought movie forever. It still has the hassles of DRM.
AD: Speaking of downloading movies (ahem) You can download Monk. Monk is the first show since Get Smart that is worth watching.