No wonder consumers embraced file-sharing

Steve Rosenbush

The fiasco triggered by Sony's copy-protected CDs shows why consumers have taken to file-sharing. Sony has pulled thousands of CDs from store shelves because software on the discs leaves PCs vulnerable to spyware, USA Today reports. I think this debacle helps bolster my argument that it's simplistic and unfair to brand file-sharers as mere criminals. With the notable exception of Apple and its iPod, the entertainment industry has made a slow and unsteady transition to the era of digital distribution. Consumers, many of whom spend hours online every day, needed a way to integrate music and entertainment into daily lives that revolve around the computer. Industry didn't get the job done, so consumers latched onto file-sharing networks that worked quite well. Industry freaked out, went to court, and won rulings in its favor. Now it's up to industry to come up with a legal alternative that works. We're waiting.

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