Busting purveyors and consumers of unsanctioned online music circulation (aka piracy) has typically been the heavy-handed tack taken by record labels and other industry players, but one British outfit, Web Sheriff, prefers kid gloves. Appealing to fans’ reason and responsibility is the best defense for artists and labels alike, at least according to the firm’s founder, John Giacobbi. –KA

Los Angeles Times:

“The only thing most fans are guilty of is over-exuberance,” Giacobbi said in a recent interview. “When you’ve got some artist they love and have been waiting for a new album for two years, you’ve got to treat them with respect rather than hit them with the big stick — it’s a better way of doing it.

“Generally speaking it’s impossible to put the genie 100% back into the bottle, but you can contain it to a significant degree,” he said. “With Adele, we eliminated 99% of it (pre-release leaks).” The album has sold nearly 2 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Soundscan.

Despite such claims of success, skepticism persists.

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