We've been puzzled over the last few years watching the independent sector forming more and more alliances - sure, co-ops are great, and there is power in a union and all that, but if you're all going to agree, what's the point of being independent?
Now, something has finally turned up to fracture the indie consensus: the fate of the biggest indies of them all, Warner and EMI. The international indie organisation, Impala, has decided that its somewhat in favour. But that's annoyed Ministry of Sound so much to the point that it's pulled out of AIM, the British branch of Impala.
Warners have bought Impala's support with little more than a promise - "no strings attached" says Impala; "no solid guarantee", we suspect - to back Merlin, yet another digital rights management initiative:
We'd love to think that the indies are really thinking "what's the point about fighting over a pair of companies on the downward spiral?", but they're probably not.
AIM's Alison Wenham gritted her teeth to say how great it is that MOS have quit:
Warners have made further vague pledges about perhaps divesting some parts, and being generally good; Impala haven't even shared these with their members yet.