Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day's news.

-- Retailer Hastings posted a net loss of about $3.7 million in Q3 2009 ending October 31. The company's loss through the first ten months of 2009 was $2.1 million. Revenues were down 1.7% in Q3. The music category was down 10.4% in Q3, a steep drop but not nearly as bad as the 19.5% decrease in Q3 2008. For the ten-month period, music sales were down 13.9%, an improvement over the 15.7% decline in 2008. (Video games and movies fell into negative territory in the first ten months of 2009 after gaining in 2008.) The company said the drop in music sales was a combination of lower prices for new and used CDs and reduced footprint in 40 stores. Hastings has carried out a strategy similar to other companies during the recession: reduce inventories, lower debt, scale back capital expenditures and improve cash flows from operations. (Press release)

-- Details of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is discussed - minus the hysteria that has been seen online recently - on tech blog Ars Technica and the legal blog Copyrights & Campaigns. In short, as Ars Technica put it, "ACTA is really about taking the DMCA global." Copyrights & Campaigns summarizes the ACTA negotiations this way: "whatever emerges from the negotiation process will not represent the radical change in US law that the more irresponsible among the ACTA critics are claiming will result ." (Ars Technica and Copyrights & Campaigns)

-- Want to know how SoundExchange works? Watch this two-and-a-half-minute video at YouTube.

Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at