Hard times for the UK band? Not exactly. The orders didn’t actually come from the band, but from record industry groups who equate posting songs to file sharing.
Bloggers who had posted songs from Radiohead’s album In Rainbows received letters from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), ordering them to take the songs down, the Guardian reports.
While it’s not the first time the groups have gone after someone for the unauthorized sharing of music–RIAA and IFPI also targeted blogs that were sharing songs by U2 and the Doors–it does seem a little strange in Radiohead’s case. After all, when it was first released, the band offered In Rainbows to fans for whatever they wanted to pay–even if that was nothing.
So can you actually steal something that was once free? In most cases, yes. One commenter summed it up nicely, writing that posting songs that were once available for free but now aren’t, is a bit like “a shop giving away a free drink with a sandwich as a special offer one week, and then you go in and shoplift the same drink a week after the promotion has ended.”