"The major record companies would like to control the
way people listen to music, and they are going to use both software
and the hardware that people buy in future. 'Content', known as
music and movies to most of us, is a global industry, worth
$billions every year.
So why not just use MP3? It's popular already, and listeners can
easily share it. The problem is that the people who created MP3
compression want to get in on the content industry act, and have
positioned themselves as another middleman. Free encoders for the
MP3 format have already bitten the dust, as the owners of the
technology demand royalties for making software that uses it."