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FEB
21
4 YEARS

How Radiohead Beat the Pirates with New Album

Radiohead
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The biggest news in piracy this past week was the lack of news.

Radiohead managed to get its eagerly anticipated new album "King of Limbs" out before any copies circulated online. It did so by keeping everyone a bit off-kilter, announcing that the album would be released digitally on February 19th before unceremoniously dropping it 24 hours earlier than that. The move not only surprised fans, but also critics, who hadn't gotten any advance copies to review (and potentially circulate). Nevertheless, soon after "King of Limbs" was released by the band on its website, the album began popping up for free on digital storage locker sites like Rapidshare and MegaUpload.

Is this the future of piracy deterrence?

Few bands can generate a social media groundwell like Radiohead for an unanticipated early release. And how many people will pay? A study released late last week by PricewaterhouseCoopers finds that people who admit to stealing movies and programs are unwilling to pay more than $3 for films and $1 for TV shows.