Here's an interesting CNN Money piece that predicts DVDs will continue to be a major player for years to come in the digital media marketplace. Personally, I couldn't agree more. Everything said here goes for CDs too. DVD-On-Demand and CD-On-Demand technology is the answer to two ailing industries' sales problems. But there's still one issue that needs to be addressed: intellectual property rights.
We need to shift from medium ownership to content ownership. If I purchase an album, that should be the last time I ever have to purchase it. Perhaps one day I will need to pay a small "upgrade" fee if I want to buy it again in a new medium, but I shouldn't have to buy it once on CD, once in mp3, and another time in some future deluxe format. Same goes for a movie I've just purchased on DVD or iTunes. If I buy it on DVD, the web version should be mine for free, or at worst, a small additional fee (the equivalent of shipping and handling). Likewise, if I decide to upgrade to HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, I shouldn't have to pay for the entire package. I should be allowed to pay a lower upgrade fee. And if my copy is damaged or destroyed, I should be able to replace it at cost. If I've already bought the standard DVD, and a special edition is released one month later, let me pay for the special features.
The plain and simple fact is that the content industries are screwing us over. How many times have each of us bought Star Wars? It's absurd. If I buy a car and decide to upgrade the stereo system, I don't have to pay the price of a whole new car. If I buy a house and decide to upgrade the kitchen, I don't pay the price of another house. But if I want to upgrade my media, I have to start from scratch every time. It's not a fair business model, and I'm sick of it.