Thanks to John for submitting this story from Rolling Stone concerning the band Wilco. Their next album isn't due out until June, but promotional copies went out a couple weeks ago. Of course, it didn't take long for the album to end up online. One big fan of the band who runs a site with all their lyrics (that, apparently, the band uses to refresh their memory!) downloaded the songs, but sent an email to the band promising to buy the real album when it came out. In fact, he went one step further, and set up a site to let people donate money to the band's favorite charity as a way of "paying" for the songs they downloaded. The band has no problem with this. They realize that, like it or not, the songs are going to end up online and people are going to download them, so they might as well embrace it instead of fighting the inevitable. There's a great quote from the band's manager: "How do I feel about the record leaking on the Internet? Well, that's a little bit like asking me how I felt about the sun coming up today. It's an inevitable thing and not something we ever perceive as a problem." In fact, they expect (and they're probably right) that many of the people who downloaded the songs will still buy the album when it comes out in June. In fact, by encouraging this, they may find themselves new fans who are willing to buy the album as well.
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