Big Champagne - who have been counting torrent downloaders since the days when people still used to ring up their mate who was good with computers to do it for them - have issued some interesting stats about Radiohead's In Rainbows, which PaidContent see as some sort of sign that we're all doomed:
See? Even if you try to give people something nice, they'll still rob it! Doom! Darkness!
But is this really doom? Isn't this news quite cheery for the music industry? Scroll down the report a little:
So, what we're talking about here is not large numbers of people habitually pinching albums. What we're talking about is a spike in free downloading of an album that was available for nothing.
So, while the MCPS scare about for sky-falling reasons...:
... isn't the evidence telling us that people do have the ability to download stuff from the torrents, but mostly aren't using that ability; and that they only did when they had reason to believe it was okay to do so. Because can anyone explain to me the actual, real "illegality" of downloading for free something from one place that one can legally download for free from another? I don't mean the letter-of-the-law difference, but the moral difference? And, even if you can, isn't it just possible that the nicety was lost on the great masses who heard Radiohead were making an album available for free (as was repeatedly, erroneously, reported at the time) and didn't see there was a problem in where they didn't pay for it?