Radiohead are to sell their latest album, In Rainbows, for as much as you're willing to pay for it. Reader's voice: "They'll have to give me money to listen to it!" Chortle.
I love Radiohead. Even the crazy later stuff. Kid A is my favourite of their albums -- yeah, I said it. Actually, what am I talking about? I'm going to buy The Bends this lunchtime and listen to it all afternoon. Really, really loud.
But I digress. In Rainbows will cost as many dollars and cents as you're willing to part with. New model of capitalism or anti-piracy pragmatism? A bit of both, most probably, and let's face it, this is an economic and social experiment undertaken from the ivory tower of multimillionaire rock stardom. So I'm not expecting the next Snuff album to be sold this way. But hey, champagne socialism is still socialism (why do Marxists only drink herbal tea? Because all proper tea is theft).
I'm not expecting Britney's next album to be sold this way either. Which is a shame. Give me the option of paying what I want, and I might actually buy a Britney album alongside Radiohead. This cuts to the heart of the downloading issue: I hold my hands up to a fair bit of Limewire use, but my justification is that I only downloaded stuff I would never have bought. Given the option, I would happily pay a fiver for any album (even if I decide it's pony and delete it later) as I firmly believe that every band has one great song. I'm hoping that In Rainbows has several. And how much am I going to pay?
50 pence -- I'm not stupid! Just kidding.