Free Radiohead album reportedly still pirated 500,000 times

Posted by Mark Raby

London (England) - The British musical group Radiohead made waves by letting users pay any price, no matter how small, for their latest album, but it still smashed its way into the digital piracy circuit.

The group's latest album, "In Rainbows", is available as a digital download from the album's official website (inrainbows.com).  After their contract with EMI Music expired, Radiohead decided to distribute their music themselves and collect all the revenue without a middleman.

Because of this, the band offered customers a unique deal - you list any price and you can download the entire set of songs.  This could be anywhere from nothing to a nearly infinite amount of dollars.

According to the British source Gigwise, the album has sold around 1.2 million copies, a record for the group in the short amount of time.  

However, even though consumers didn't have to pay anything to get the album legally, Forbes has reported that over 500,000 copies of the entire track listing have been distributed over illegal peer-to-peer networks.  That number was 240,000 on the first day of its release alone.

The peculiar statistics show that online piracy is not really an issue of money anymore, but rather something that has just become ingrained in users across the country, and the world.

A physical CD release of In Rainbows is also planned but so far it has only been available digitally.