In the mad scramble to stay profitable in a world turned upside down, the music industry is getting pretty creative. The newest gimmick: sponsoring the cover art image in digital files. Sprint is paying to slap their logo on digital versions of the rapper Piles' (who?) debut album. When those songs end up on file-sharing sites, people will still see that Sprint logo when they load it on their iPod, despite the fact that they didn't pay for it. What will that do for Sprint?

Well, I assume that people who are used to getting their music for free won't suddenly decide to pay for DRM-crippled songs that they slowly download onto their musicphones. However, it's nice to see the music industry attempting to work within the current landscape rather than trying to force it to change. And hey, Sprint has a lot more going on other than their music store, and since you can't pirate cellphone service (yet), it's smart to get their logo in front of the eyes of the tech savvy pirate set. We'll see how it works out for them.

New York Post [via CrunchGear]