Monday, January 23, 2006

Mp3s and fame

It took a while, but online file trading has finally produced its first "stars". The Arctic Monkeys began by playing in clubs and releasing their music online. They built a sizable fan base, got radio airplay, and and became fairly well known in the UK. They were courted by many labels and eventually picked Domino Records.

Their first release is a single "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" -- but I wonder whether trading this song online is illegal. After all, the band themselves released it online for free a few months ago. Perhaps precise digital rights management could distinguish between the original release and the new, label-backed release, but it seems that offering music, for free, online is a viable way for bands to build audiences, make more money, and eventually get signed on by a label.


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