The digital media industry wants to eat its cake and have it, too. Even as they tell you that you've just bought a "license" and therefore have no rights under copyright, they tell their workforce – the creative laborers who composed, arranged and performed the music – that you're buying your music, not licensing it.

That's because all the record deals from the prehistory of digital music have two different royalty rates: when a musician's work is sold, they get a low royalty rate (12%-22%). When that same work is licensed, they get a 50% royalty.

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Now, a musician has managed to drag digital music into the realm of classical physics, ending its quantum indeterminacy. Electronica pioneer Four Tet has successfully wrung a settlement out of his label, Domino, who will now be forced to treat his digital recordings as licenses and pay a 50% royalty, rather than the 13.5% they'd insisted on.