Rich Venture Capitalist Converted Into Music Pirate

image from Fred Wilson, a predominate venture capitalist and blogger, converted into a music pirate the other day. This is someone who is extremely well off and, by his own admission, spends upwards of $2,000 a year on music in his family. And yet, Wilson found himself pirating the latest Streets album from the Internet:

"searched the Internet for the record. It was not even listed in iTunes or eMusic. It was listed on Amazon US as an import that would be available on Feb 15th, but only in CD form. I'm not buying plastic just to rip the files and throw it out. Seeing as it was an import, I searched Amazon UK.

And there I found the record in mp3 form for 4 pounds. It was going to be released on Feb 4th. I made a mental note to come back and get it when it was released. I got around to doing that today. I clicked on 'buy with one click' and was greeted with this nonsense "

Here, Amazon told Wilson that he couldn't buy the album as he wasn't from the UK. Next, he tried to find a VPN and fake a UK IP address, but it didn't work.

"So reluctantly, I went to a bit torrent search. I found plenty of torrents for the record and quickly had the record in mp3 form. That took less than a minute compared to the 20+ minutes I wasted trying pretty hard to buy the record legally."

"This is fucked up. I want to pay for music. I value the content. But selling it to some people in some countries and not selling it to others is messed up.

And selling it in CD only format is messed up.

And posting the entire record on the web for streaming without making the content available for purchase is messed up."

This story has grown into a huge debate on his blog. People are taking both sides. While Wilson makes a number of good points, others do too. It's worth noting too that he has since went out and bought the music. So, the question:

Is Wilson in the right or wrong?

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