Of all forms of media, music is probably the most affected by the advent of the internet. While people will pirate anything from movies to video games, music has always held a place as the poster child of piracy victimhood.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, since the file-sharing site Napster emerged in 1999, music sales have dropped 53 percent, and in 2009 only 37 percent of music acquired in the U.S. was paid for.
Additionally, piracy accounts for 24 percent of internet bandwidth globally. This is a big problem. In 2007, Radiohead released their seventh album “In Rainbows” as a free download online. According to NPR Music’s Eric Garland, “In Rainbows” was pirated at 10 times the rate of other contemporary top artists. Between 60 and 70 percent of the people who downloaded “In Rainbows” did it illegally. Radiohead still made money from the album, thanks to the online tip jar that allowed fans to pay whatever they wanted for the album. […]