As of last week, half a million users had downloaded Radiohead’s new album over the BitTorrent network, even though it was released as a “pay what you want” album that could be downloaded from the band's web site-- legitimately--for free.
I've noticed that some news outlets have continued to call unauthorized downloads of the new Radiohead album "stolen" or "pirated" even though the band clearly knew they were throwing at least some of their mp3's overboard, so to speak.
"Free? Steal it anyway," quipped Forbes, in a piece that exposed the "hard-core music pirates" who "chose to steal music they could legally download for any price."
Are these still the right terms to use? The copy editor within me (deep, deep within) wonders. Forbes seems to think there's no freebies allowed in capitalism. Like no crying in baseball.
Other news outlets pointed out that much of the "stealing" may have happened when Radiohead's web site was overwhelmed with traffic. It appears that other British musicians will follow Radiohead's lead, hard-core pirates notwithstanding.