It will be great when Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy
album comes out -- if only because it'll end 14 years
of speculation and hype, and maybe we'll stop hearing about it for a while. It's scheduled for release on Sunday (and will be available only at a single chain of stores, thanks to an exclusive agreement), but the band is already streaming the record on its MySpace page
. This comes after the band got the FBI
to investigate a blogger who posted some songs from the album online a few months ago; the blogger was eventually arrested
, and recently plead guilty
in a plea bargain. So, like so many people in the music business, it appears that GNR love the power of online music as a promotional tool, as long as it's on their own terms. Having the guy who posted the songs prosecuted did nothing
to stem the tide of illegal downloads of GNR songs, while his actions helped to promote the band and their work. Furthermore, what's the real difference between streaming the songs on MySpace, and having them freely available elsewhere online? Those who are so inclined can still find a way to convert the streams into downloaded files, while the streams could just point some users to download the album via BitTorrent, where it's readily available.