> If everyone would take a quick moment to send Wal-Mart's burgeoning
> music store an email to JUST SAY NO TO MICROSOFT's WMA Format!

I read the headlines that Wal-Mart will be selling songs on-line but I don't
know any details. However, I do have sort of a business - technical question.

When W-M buys the music to resell, who does the compression? Sony,
MCA, Columbia, et al. or does W-M have to contract to do that separately?
("Here's the high density stuff. Do what you want and pay us for each copy
sold." I don't think so.) I'm guessing that the big boys can provide all or
many formats and the middlemen (W-M, Apple) just have to pick whether
they want to distribute one or many formats.

Does anybody know the real licensing costs to the companies for using, say,
MP3 versus WMA?

If it's relevant, RealNetworks filed a lawsuit (on 12/19) against MS.

Microsoft faces fresh antitrust assault
RealNetworks alleges illegal digital media monopoly
By Bambi Francisco & William L. Watts, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 6:04 PM ET Dec. 19, 2003

I have to think that if the compression is already done by the music providers,
what's the big deal to sell more than one format. Additional server space
and extra choices in the GUI can't be that expensive or difficult. (Of course,
if it was all open standards like MP3 and no proprietary stuff like Windows
Media Player they wouldn't need the extra server space anyway.)

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