A new study from the UK (via The Independent) has shown what many piracy-advocates have been saying for years. While the average person spends around £34 a year on music, people who self-identify as pirates spend an average of £77. The pirates are also the ones buying music in greater quantities. For years, piracy advocates have claimed that most users only pirate as a way to 'test' new bands and seek out more music to buy.
While no study can prove that fact 100%, this is certainly more evidence in favor of it. More importantly, this news should be a sign to the labels that, by punishing pirates, they're only hurting their biggest customers. I'm no fan of illegal downloading, but it's not something any corporation of government entity is ever going to be able to erase. Pirates will always find a way.
So, will news like this get the labels to stop suing their customers? Probably not. At this stage of the game, the companies that want to adapt already have. What we're left with are a few dinosaurs. They're big, scary, and powerful, but not very long for this world. The climate has changed too much to support them.