> I'd like to see companies considering initial piracy a marketing cost - the people that don't end up buying probably wouldn't have anyway and you'll end up gaining loyal customers who like what they've seen/heard.
I'd very much like to see it as that also, but sadly it flies in the face of most of the evidence. Anecdotal stories to the contrary notwithstanding, the majority of studies indicate that filesharing replaces demand for (paid) recorded music, rather than stimulating it. Moreover, a bird's-eye view, it is difficult to reconcile the piracy-as-free-publicity (and hence as a stimulus to demand for music) with the rather obvious fact that, even adjusting for lower average prices for music (due to the renewed strength of the singles market thanks to iTunes), revenues from recorded music have fallen drastically over the last ten year (not adjusting for the singles/iTunes effect, revenues are down by 50% in less than ten years).
>that filesharing replaces demand for (paid) recorded music, rather than stimulating it
"Altin asked Wallis if there is any connection between illicit downloads and lost sales in the music industry. Contradicting the opinion of John Kennedy of the IFPI in his testimony yesterday, Wallis said that downloading caused an increase in sales of live event tickets and although there has been a reduction in CD sales, this won’t continue.
Wallis went on to explain that while some people download, these people also tend to buy more CDs than others that don’t. It’s not just downloading causing competition for the industry, other things have an effect such as the growth of computer games, he said."
"Professor and media researcher Roger Wallis appeared as an expert witness at the Pirate Bay trial yesterday. He was questioned on the link between the decline of album sales and filesharing. Wallis told the court that his research has shown that there is no relation between the two."
I suppose you did read TFA and related so you know who the man with the flower-showered wife is.