From the CEO of Thomson Reuters...
I believe that The Grateful Dead discovered the new economic model for the music industry 40 years ago
Inside every CEO there's a deadhead waiting to be released, no?
What the Dead figured out a long time ago is that artists should give away recorded music, and make their money from touring, building brand and merchandising. Most of the band’s 5000+ live shows are available for download or at least stream on the internet (see www.archive.org/details/GratefulDead or www.deaddisc.com/GDFD_Dicks_Picks.htm). Rather than suing fans to prohibit bootleg recordings, the Dead allowed its devotees to set up microphones at their concerts and also provided high quality tapes of every show right off the mixing board. Thus, the recordings themselves become viral advertisements for the group and build brand and demand for concert tickets and merchandise which are harder to copy.
From Tom Glocer's blog.
There are, of course, other arguments.