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2011-07-30 - 13:29:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: Meta: Ethics | Internet | Law |

This article – seen via Glyn Moody on G+ – reiterates the point that it is frequently the people who torrent also spend the cash.

This week, TorrentFreak reported former Google CIO Douglas C Merrill saying that punishing file-sharers is a bad idea, because they have deep pockets when it comes to legitimate music purchase.During his stint at EMI, Merrill profiled the behavior of LimeWire users and discovered something rather interesting. Those same file-sharing 'thieves' were also iTunes' biggest spenders. "That's not theft, that's try-before-you-buy marketing and we weren't even paying for it!"

And, of course, back in the days of vinyl singles and LPs we'd go into our local record shop and ask to *hear* a track before we decided whether to buy it. Yes, youngsters, even Boots and Smiths had individual booths where the assistants would play you the record or a track for you to listen to! Amazing isn't it. Now you go into HMV or, um, HMV and have to buy your music unheard. This means that bands with reputations sell even more, based on their track (sic) record, whereas new performers have an even bigger problem of breaking in to the big time.

Now, that 'listen before you buy' service – which used to be free and a great way to spend your Saturday morning – is served by "illegal" methods only. If you are lucky a YouTube video (using a still photo), or otherwise a torrent.

And yes, I have over the years torrented the odd item or two. I've then either deleted it as not liked, or - more often - gone out and bought the CD or DVD (or even an iTunes / HMV download!).

The future of music requires that people hear it before laying out their cash. In the absence of in-person opportunities for that then the current methods are the ones everyone must rely on. To everyone's benefit.



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