What Would the Music Industry look like without Napster?

According to the labels, record sales would have burgeoned if not for the existence of file-sharing site Napster. The labels’ optimistic forecast comes in the form of a chart included in a trial brief for their case against LimeWire.

The above chart was born out of a case brought by major labels like Sony Corp.’s Arista Records and Warner Music Group Corp.’s Atlantic Records against LimeWire. The trial is scheduled to begin May 2.

In the brief, the labels say:

“The evidence will demonstrate that there has been a $55 billion decline in record industry revenue over the last decade. Plaintiffs and Defendants disagree as to whether mass filesharing through peer-to-peer services has been the primary cause of this decline (Plaintiffs’ position), or just one of several causes (Defendants’ position). But even if LimeWire caused only a fraction of this decline, Plaintiffs’ damages would still be in the billions of dollars. Plaintiffs will offer evidence at trial demonstrating that far greater than a fraction of this harm was caused by LimeWire.”



Verizon to eliminate 1 year Contract Option

Verizon customers interested in signing a one-year contract (as opposed to the standard two) should lock in their selections now; the company has confirmed that it is eliminating the one-year contract option as of April 17.

Verizon claims the policy change is taking place because the “greater majority of customers sign up for a two-year contract.”

The nation’s largest wireless provider (at least until that AT&T/T-Mobile deal is approved) previously offered users the ability to sign one-year contracts or contract extensions in lieu of the standard two-year agreement. Customers who opted for the one-year contract were still able to purchase new equipment at a discount, albeit a lesser discount than the subsidized two-year agreements.

In an email to BGR, Verizon reiterated that its contract-free month-to-month plans would still be available to consumers.

Meanwhile, according to draft circulars obtained by DroidLife, Verizon may be introducing a new month-to-month prepaid plan that offers users unlimited voice and text for $50 a month. Data will cost extra (reportedly $30 a month for unlimited data).

AT&T recently increased the early-upgrade price on some of its smartphones and feature phones.