The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. An attempt by ISPs, broadcasters and recording companies to consolidate several hearings on digital music royalties has been rejected by the Copyright Board, but we hope the move paves the way to a critical discussion about the application of tariffs and who should benefit. The recording industry has made great strides in responding to the digital environment. My first download was in 1996 – a DCC transfer in IRC. Over the years, IRC provided many of my downloads, using arcane commands, waiting patiently for bots to make something available, and usually at less than 10k per second. By contrast, when I was recently reminded right before embarking on a road trip that Bruce Springsteen has a new album out, I was able to download the entire album in a matter of minutes from iTunes for a measly $10, pack it onto my iPod, and was listening to it about 10 minutes later in the car using my iTrip.The ease, convenience and low cost of music downloads is light years ahead of where the state of the art was 10 years ago, and the industry deserves credit for that. The dark clouds on the horizon, however, are the many hands now reaching into the pocket of the user to take advantage of the rapidly growing popularity of authorized downloading. If a $10 album becomes $14 – a possible outcome of the many tariff hearings ahead – the work done by CRIA and its members will have been for naught. The current framework for tariff-setting has forced the parties into an adversarial system in which each collective looks out for its own. Unless action is taken by government to re-structure the ground rules – preferably through an overhaul of a Copyright Act that is now a patchwork of rights – the threat of non-paid downloads will continue to dominate headlines. The momentum of rightsholder demands will be hard to stop. It will take buy in from all sides to slow the process down to begin a wholesale reconsideration of the value of digital music. Given what’s at stake, however, we think the willingness should materialize.