Scott Ian makes a few points:
Before the Internet, the only way to steal music was to walk into a music store and physically walk out with something, and you were stealing, and you knew it. You knew, unless you’re a fucking maniac, that there was a consequence. If you got caught, you were going to get in trouble.
On the Internet, there is no consequence for stealing. Nobody gets in trouble for stealing music, nobody gets in trouble for stealing movies. Illegal downloading has no consequence. So until there is a consequence, it’s going to happen more and more and more, and people are going to see less and less original and good content from the record industry and movie industry. – Anthrax’s Scott Ian: Take Away Illegal Downloaders’ Internet Privileges
First, he’s right — it’s stealing, if it’s the only way you get the album.
My experience is that with underground music, people who download tend to later buy the album, and those that do not had no plans to buy anything anyway.
For mainstream music, all bets are off. Then again, the attention span there is much shorter.
Maybe it’s time for Scott Ian and Co. to either make music like Beyonce, or make music like Incantation.
No middle ground.