Page last updated at 19:19 GMT, Tuesday, 24 January 2006

Digital music: Industry answers

Some of the top executives in the music industry have answered your questions about digital music.

The BBC News website asked for your queries and gripes about the way new technology is being used - and the eight sharpest, most frequent and most important questions were put to the virtual panel.

Click on each question to read the answers.

I think there is something wrong in asking people to pay for music they have already bought. You can move a CD from one player to another, and you should be able to do the same with downloaded music as long as it is still for your use. What plans does this industry have to ensure customers are not ripped off? Anthony Davies, Crawley, UK

  • John Kennedy, IFPI:

    I agree with you we'd like nothing more than for you to be able to download or transfer music securely between your phone, your home and work PC, a couple of your players and your home Hi-Fi system, for example.

    But we don't make the technology, we create the music. It's the technology companies that hold the key to achieving this. They need to make proprietary systems interoperable with each other. We're playing our part, actively licensing music to meet your needs for flexibility and portability - they now need to act.

  • Peter Jamieson, BPI:

    No-one is asking people to pay twice for music they have already bought, but when new formats come long they create new ways of listening to music which people may prefer. It is the same as when CD arrived and many people decided to buy albums they already had on vinyl on the new format.

    In terms of moving music from one technical system to another, that is really something for the technology companies and the online retailers to resolve. Certainly we are encouraging them to make their systems compatible.

  • Steve Knott, HMV:

    If you buy a download, you can always burn it to CD and play it wherever and wherever you wish. Similarly, you can listen to downloaded tracks via different applications or you can even take out a monthly subscription from the likes of HMV Digital or Napster and gain access to more than two million tracks, which you can play as many times as you wish.

  • Brad Duea, Napster:

    Anthony, I am sorry that you have bought your music in the past but subscriptions were not available until recently. I too have suffered from the physical sales scam by having my family buy the same album on eight-track, vinyl, cassette and CD. Owning this physical product has done me no good.

    I too think that if you compensate the labels and artists for their music, you should be able move this music around-to different PCs, players, etc. The good news is that we have more than just plans in this area, we have an offering that does this today.

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