If it were up to the recording companies, would they refund me my money if I didn't like a CD I legally bought? Currently, the answer is no. That is on the same level of unfairness as pirating in my mind. Most of other retail stores allow you to return a purchased item, so why should music be any different?
As for the question of do I delete something I downloaded and didn't like, the answer would be yes. It's a yes, because that material takes up space on my hard disk that would be better served otherwise. And since I'm an unofficial tech support person for many people in my family, all of them being non-tech-savvy, I can attest that they do the same.
Is it? I have previously returned music to a store within my stautory rights period.
Besides even if you do make a fair point lets reverse the situation: is it right to nick a CD from the store if you go back later to either put it on the shelf if you dont like it or pay for it if you do?
Anyway; Im not so much talking music you dont like actually (sorry, my fault). My point was focused on music you find acceptable and still would listen to occasionally but dont think is worth £9.99 or however much an album purchase is near you. I know several people with HUGE illegal music collections that would cost them thousands of pounds to purchase - how do they choose what to pay for, what to keep and what they should delete. Answer (for all of them) is they pay nothing and delete nothing....
I do agree that there are people who keep crap around when they don't need it. But, stealing a CD is not the same as downloading music from a torrent. Stealing implies that the owner of the CD is left permanently without it. A torrent is a copy of the original content. It's a fair distinction, and the point is that music store rules do not apply to the net.
Well, if it's still got the anti-tamper strips and such on it, I guess. I've never tried to return an unopened CD, so I dunno about that (and how would I know I didn't like it, then?), but back when I bought CDs, I never had any success trying to return one that was opened. The stores have a policy against this because they assume you copied it first (to tape, originally).