It's official. I want the traditional music industry to go completely out of business. I want their offices emptied. I want their executives out on the street making ends meet by selling bootleg copies of the artists they've ripped off. What makes this such an urgent plea, and why is this my first message of the year? Coldplay.

Today, Coldplay's new single was released, and it comes with a lot of so-called DRM or "digital rights management" which prevents even reasonable use of the CD. There's a great article over at Boing Boing which explains the restrictions, but if you're lazy, just check out the insert in the CD right here:

Why oh why do the record labels hate artists and fans? They're suing listeners, installing malicious software on CDs like Sony did, and hurting artists by associating them with evil, short-sighted, greedy methods like this Coldplay thing. It just makes no sense.

Coldplay is probably big enough that they don't even need a record label anymore. They should break their contract right now, and whatever the fine is, I'm sure their fans would be happy to cover it. I'll gladly chip in $20 to liberate enslaved artists from the shackles of extreme greed and corporate selfishness.

But what about newer artists? They don't have the clout to just walk away, and the restrictive CDs can only hurt them as young fans turn away. New artists will need to plan for the demise of big daddy and seek new distribution and hopefully new ways to make money. The signs of the declining empire are unavoidable.

So here's one of my big wishes for 2006. I want the already declining industry to slide further. Let them keep alienating their customers and artists. Let them try to screw with the iTunes pricing model which has been a lone bright spot. They are becoming less and less relevant.

You know, the milk man doesn't exist anymore, but I still have no problem getting milk.

So long big labels. Enjoy your last hours.