Entertainment: Burn, Baby, Burn

Sales of music on CD are plummeting. Homemade discs are more popular than ever. What can the big record labels do?

The last time the music business fell into a slump, Madonna was a Cyndi Lauper wannabe, the theme from Miami Vice was a No. 1 hit and the rising star known as Prince still had a name that didn't look like a typo. The year was 1985, and although shipments of recorded music were down 4%, the worst the industry had to worry about--hair spray and tight pants aside--was that some listeners liked to mix their own cassette tapes with favorite tunes from the latest Phil Collins or Duran Duran albums. Record companies dealt with this casual piracy by printing a...

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