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A small update to the last post, "I, Pirate".

amazon.com (along with others) have started to offer MP3 downloads. No DRM, no hassle. You pay, you download, you own a copy. As simple as pirating the file.

As for free music downloads (such as the Radiohead initiative and the latest Harvey Danger album for example) I will always be drawn to these type of initiatives. It cost less for me (even if I end up paying) and it rewards the artist more. I payed $5 for the Harvey Danger album, which is less that any album I could buy from the "commercial" circuit. And I'm sure it's more than whatever they were making out of an album sale through the regular music channels.

Then, the artist (remember, that's the guy I like, not the 154 people in the middle all getting their cut) will get the money, and THEY will choose who they want to pay for their promotion, music recording studio and all. Not the other way around.

All in all, I am sure things are going to stabilize on this kind of distribution (either the amazon.com initiative or the radiohead one). The RIAA affiliates hold on the various distribution channels (which made them a monopoly) is dissolving at last and their position in the distribution channel is going to be of a lesser importance, for the benefit of the artists - and thus the benefit of music.

Times have changed, and producing an album for an artists is not something that involves millions of dollars in hardware anymore. Along with a new distribution channel that is free for them to use, they don't need the RIAA as much as they used to.

That's my take on the issue. Go Music, go ! Die RIAA, die !

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