A piece in Forbes notes that more than 500,000 people in the space of a couple of days decided to download the new Radiohead album via BitTorrent, even though they could have downloaded it from Radiohead and paid the same amount, i.e. nothing. Although Eric Garland of Big Champagne — the download-tracking service that provided the numbers for the story — seems surprised that they would do this, but I don’t find it that surprising at all (neither does Nick Gonzalez at TechCrunch).
Not only are people used to BitTorrent, it’s a lot faster and easier than downloading it from Radiohead’s site was, according to many of the people who tried to do so. If you’re not going to pay for it anyway, why not use the most efficient method? In fact, Radiohead should have used BitTorrent to power their downloads in the first place, the same way that Linux distros like Linspire and Ubuntu do.