You may have read the kinds of thing I typically say about digital distribution and copyright; may I simply point to a story in the New York Times (sorry, registration required) which reports a discussion between Lawrence Lessig and Jeff Tweedy on the topic. Several choice fair use morsels:
“[W]here the band’s previous album, Summerteeth, sold 20,000 in its first week according to SoundScan, Yankee [Hotel Foxtrot] sold 57,000 copies in its first week and went on to sell more than 500,000. Downloading, at least for Wilco, created rather than diminished the appetite for the corporeal version of the work.”
“Mr. Tweedy suggested that downloading was an act of rightful ‘civil disobedience.’ ”
As Meg observes (commenting on yet another Scalia inanity),
There are two things happening with online file sharing:
1. It’s the market’s way of saying not that it doesn’t see profit, per se, as legitimate but that the prices charged, for example, by BMG for Shakira’s CD don’t reflect its perceived value.
2. People are willing to pay when there’s a means available for them to do so that embraces what’s great about the digitization of media (easy access, portability, recommendations/sharing with friends and family, etc.).
I’m with Meg: “What about a bumper sticker that says, ‘Your failed business model is not my problem’?”