Two FADER staffers weigh the pros and cons.
As legend has it, the modern music leak came into shape sometime around the early aughts, largely due in part to the creation of the peer-to-peer mp3-sharing service Napster in 1999. The ensuing two decades equipped fans with the tools to access music through illegal channels like Limewire, Kazaa, and MegaUpload. “Fans are thirsty,” Nick Barart noted this week in an essay on The FADER about Kanye West’s unconventional album rollouts. “They expect artists to over-serve them, and if they can’t get their fix from an approved source, they’ll find other means.” Still, does illegally downloading music or leaking it to the web make it right?
"albums will keep on leaking until the ways of the music industry, and the internet, inevitably shifts again. The only thing we can do in the meantime is decide how, and when, we want to listen."
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Illustration GABRIEL ALCALA