New Radiohead CD leaks onto Internet early
Proving once again that a CD doesn't have to be commercially available to be pirated, Radiohead's upcoming "Hail to the thief" album has leaked onto the Internet some three months before its scheduled street date. Apparently, the CD wasn't leaked by the band, though Radiohead bandmember Jonny Greenwood's comments on the incident are interesting:
"Colin (Greenwood) called and said it was up, so thought I'd check," he wrote. "I feel bemused, not annoyed. I'm glad people like it, most of all. It's a little earlier than we'd expected, but there it is. Surprised, and still not used to it happening, even after all these years. I worry more that stuff we do won't get released for whatever obscure reason, and I hate the 3 month gap between finish and release. But not enough to leak it myself!"
Radiohead's albums have appeared on the Internet before store shelves several times before, which is as much a testament to the band's fanatical following as it is the ease of releasing material onto P2P networks. Even if pre-release copies of the CD were stacked with DRM, watermarks, and other copy-prevention technology, it only takes one daring individual to start a leak that has the potential to turn into a flood.
Despite the band's seemingly blasé attitude towards the leak, it's particularly interesting to note that Greenwood sees the Internet as a viable distribution medium for recordings that may otherwise go unreleased. A seasoned, critically-acclaimed band like Radiohead likely doesn't have a problem finding labels to pick up its recordings, but for smaller, less-established artists, the Internet can be an incredibly effective distribution tool.