The CEO of Universal Music would like you, the person formerly known as customer, to know just what you mean to him and his company.

So how is it that an old-school music mogul who can barely hide his indifference to technology or his contempt for the download-loving public is out front on so many digital initiatives? Clearly, it’s not because he wants to improve the music experience for consumers. It’s also not because he finally understands that MP3s are fundamentally changing his business, whether he likes it or not. And if he’s “invigorated and challenged by the opportunities of digital music,” as Caraeff puts it, that’s only because he relishes a fight. In truth, his motive is simple: He wants to wring every dollar he can out of anyone who goes anywhere near his catalog.

Translation: you are a cash machine.

And you can bet he’s not fighting hard for the money so he can pay the artists more.

Read the rest of the article to discover new definitions for the term “contempt”. Not to mention “clueless”.

The irony is that if he decides to base his plans around DRM, Morris will be missing the larger truth that has propelled his business for the past 30 years. Ultimately, it’s convenience and ease of use that drive new media formats. That’s why cassettes made inroads against records, why CDs killed them both, and why MP3s are well on their way to burying CDs. Morris is right when he says music is more popular than ever, but he’s wrong to assume that will automatically lead to higher profits for the major labels. “Locking things up is actually good for piracy,” says David Pakman, CEO of eMusic, an online retailer that sells DRM-free songs from independent labels. In other words, the more restrictions you put on your files, the more you encourage customers to turn to illegal services to get songs the way they want them.

music, universal, contempt