Thoughts on piracy and the music business
Illustrated and introduced by an excellent video!
(The relevant part is the spoken intro and the first verse, but the rest is good too)
The band in this video are Show of Hands — from Devon, UK. As well as playing trad music, they write songs (often to do with current affairs) in a trad/folk/rock/un classifiable style. And they have a fairly unique approach to piracy, as you will have heard if you watch the video.
They encourage their fans to copy their CDs. They're also highly supportive of fans taping their concerts and posting them on YouTube. In fact, they posted a link to this video and the others from that concert on their blog!
They do this because they know that the real money is in live performances. A copied cd is extra free publicity for them, and peer marketing is far more effective than traditional advertising — so much so that facebook have made a business out of it. And a taped concert can only ever give a small taste of what it's really like to be at a live concert.
In summary: if piracy is such a big problem to artists, bands and producers, it's because they cannot adapt, and are too myopic/greedy to usenet it for what it is — in the words of Steve knightely, "it's not theft or piracy, it's generosity (and bloody good free marketing for me)".