EasyTree was a well-known site for downloading live recordings of popular bands. It was scrupulously careful never to list anything that had ever been commercially released in any form, and it responded instantly to any request by any band that did not want people sharing its music.

EasyTree closed voluntarily two days ago when it was threatened by expensive lawyers. There’s a reasonable possibility that it was doing nothing wrong, even by the recording industry’s tortured interpretation of copyright law – but the industry is winning battles like these by intimidation and bullying, not by being right about anything.

It’s important for everyone to give the recording industry the respect it so richly deserves. I’m sure there are some people who will wonder if there are any alternative sites springing up to take the place of EasyTree – perhaps even web sites far less respectful of copyrighted material than EasyTree – but searching for sites like that is simply an invitation for trouble.

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