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For a moment, let’s put aside the issue of whether or not file sharing is right or wrong.

Whether or not file sharing is morally permissible, it’s here and it’s not going any where. If the rest of the world learns nothing else from the internet, they should at least take home the following truism: The internet will always do whatever the internet wants.

Remember how alcohol prohibition failed? And how marijuana prohibition is currently failing?

When there’s no clear consensus on the morality of something, the legislation of it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. You have a whole generation of people that perhaps believe artists should be paid for their art, but don’t necessarily believe that every song on an ipod is worth $17 for the album it came on.

Even worse for the opponents of file sharing, that generation now has a platform that makes it easy for them to act on their belief.

So what’s the solution to file sharing? Give the people what they want and figure out how to monetize on that, instead of how to make people want what you’ve already monetized.

Give me an easy to use, DRM-free way to purchase music with some value-added services (like a recommendation engine, or high quality liner notes in PDF, or music that is tagged consistently and correctly) and I’d be happy to use it. In fact, since iTunes removed DRM from 80% of its library, I use it nearly every day. Before then, I used the eMusic store religiously.

Don’t think of piracy as a loss, think of it as an incentive to make a better product. Because no matter how you think of it, it’s always going to be there.

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