The commercial logic for legal DRM free access to content on the web

This post at The Equity Kicker is an interesting follow-on to the news of major labels considering sales of DRM-free mp3s.  For aspiring artists, I wonder about the revenue model for their business (imagine the artist as a business).  If a large enough share of your revenue comes from concerts and merchandise sales, how much legitimate (DRM or no) online revenue would you give up to increase your local bookings/merchandise/touring.  Some people call that marketing.

“Mega stars have all the exposure they can handle and sell out their gigs in minutes, so there is little marginal benefit to them in a few extra fans having a copy of their music.  They will be better off with one extra CD sale.”

The blog quotes Cory Doctorow (scifi writer and editor of the BoingBoing blog) that some authors would be rather be pirated than unknown.  They would rather have an audience, a fanbase, a source of ongoing and loyal paying customers.