Sales of CDs will drop to half of current levels within three years, according to a grim forecast from a British record executive. (The very phrase "record executive" seems woefully out of date.) Here's what Jed Doherty, head of Sony BMG in the U.K., had to say: "We figure the value of CD sales will be 50% less in three years than it is now. We predict digital growth of 25% per year, but it is not enough to replace the loss from falling CD sales. By 2010 we will be 30% behind in terms of revenues. We have to reinvent. We are running our businesses like it is 1982." The industry conference Doherty was addressing in Manchester also saw calls for the end of DRM that prevents iPods from playing non-iTunes downloads and iTunes purchases from being played on non-iPod players, according to The Guardian
: "Mr. Doherty said the current situation was 'stupid' while Mike Smith, managing director of Columbia Records UK, predicted that the rights management regime would be gone within a year."