The Labels Start Turning up the Volume

The recording industry beat Napster and continues battling free file-sharers. But in slow steps, it's learning to dance to an online beat

In June, three of the five major music labels -- Universal, Sony, and Warner Music -- announced that they would make thousands of songs available for download over the Internet at the discount price of 99 cents each. Better yet, in a major about-face Warner Music agreed to let buyers of many of the songs, by both new artists and established acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Alanis Morissette, copy or transfer them to portable MP3 players. Sony and Universal's music was released in copy-protected format.

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