If there's one industry whose executives can be trusted to consistently make the wrong choices, it's the entertainment industry. Many in the record business seem utterly incapable of learning from past mistakes.
Two and a half years after the music business lined up behind the chief executive of Apple, Steven P. Jobs, and hailed him and his iTunes music service for breathing life into music sales, the industry's allegiance to Mr. Jobs has eroded sharply.
Mr. Jobs is now girding for a showdown with at least two of the four major record companies over the price of songs on the iTunes service.
If he loses, the one-price model that iTunes has adopted - 99 cents to download any song - could be replaced with a more complex structure that prices songs by popularity. A hot new single, for example, could sell for $1.49, while a golden oldie could go for substantially less than 99 cents.
Music executives who support Mr. Jobs say the higher prices could backfire, sending iTunes' customers in search of songs on free, unauthorized file-swapping networks.