P2P Good or Bad For Local Musicians?

P2P File Sharing and Indie MusicThe fate of the major record labels in the presence of file sharing technology is largely in debate in the press and in the courts.

A similar debate is taking place among local musicians. Shawn Macomber reports opinions expressed by musicians on both sides of the argument. To highlight a few:

File sharing is good:
* Free music encourages fans to sample new artists.
* Digitally shared music facilitates viral spread of music through peer groups.
* File sharing creates new fans that may attend shows and buy merchandise.

File sharing is bad:
* Many smaller labels are on tight budgets, and depend on CD Sales to fund upcoming tours and recording projects.
* Local artists don't have the resources to produce "bonus features" that encourage sales despite file sharing, such as DVDs, CD-ROM features, discount concert tickets, free T-shirts, etc.

What are your experiences with file sharing and new music, either as a musician or as a listener?

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