The internet empowers every person to "own" virtually anything - with or without permission.
To the bands and artists, this is a good thing actually. Fans generally would only buy a CD if they like say 80% of the songs in an album. So what reason should a band have in taking the risk of holding back the excitement from their fans when they can just send it off for free?
To the record companies, free downloads have always been, always is, and will always be a threat - it would probably never end. Well if there was ever a solution there wouldn't be any pirates today, would there?
Anyhow... that's not the point.
I happen to come across "Softly" in Imeem.
Some Richard uploaded this unreleased track performed by Sheila and the Insects, commissioned for the release of the 2nd APO Hiking Society tribute album (Kami nAPO Muna volume 2). And because the band "disbanded" before the tribute album was released, the label decided to exclude the track.
Fortunately, it found its way elsewhere... thanks to you Richard and to the geeks in Imeem.
I guess this is one of the results from major decisions made in the 80's when record labels decided to hire accountants and lawyers to run their companies instead of "experts" in the music business.
Accountants adhere to the so called professional skepticism - it's their job. Lawyers do the same - it's their job.
But music is about fans... not just about money. Music is about art... not much about pretty faces, good looks, and clothes (although this is usually a necessity). Music is about having to "own a copy" of the music and not about court orders.
Just recently, the music industry is coming up with this new miniature gadget called slotMusic. I hope this works... I hope this works. Really I hope it does.