Please note that most live source recording using minidisc is NOT related to any form of piracy or so-called 'bootlegging'. Most people using MD to record do not transgress the concerns of any "content provider" in any way, but we're nonetheless penalized by misplaced anxiety.
Furthermore, MiniDisc is an inherently inferior (loss-inherent) piracy tool. There's no evidence that allowing digital transfer of *inherently inferior, ATRAC-compressed sound* would have any negative effect on the revenues of the music industry, as artists releasing their own live material typically use non-compressing hi-resolution equipment. If anything, so called "fan-taping" has been shown to increase the "brand loyalty" to a particular artist, and those same fans reliably purchase the artist's own release of material that's been available on bootleg, no matter how much later the release. Please reference those sudies on the matter that were conducted by the Wall Street Journal and others in the early 1990's.
Audio upload capability is an extremely useful feature desired by anyone using MiniDisc to record live sources of any type. Jam sessions, meetings, newsgathering and other personal recording needs cry out for further handling and editing, meaning transfer with no further loss. In fact, such transfer is a major potential selling point, one that could expand the base of MD users substantially. Consumers typically like having recording capability even if they don't use it, and past experience shows that consumers will find unexpected utility in devices that offer easy functionality. And the market has matured with regard to 'loss-tolerance', meaning that more and more average people understand the content loss they're incurring by converting back and forth between digital and analog signals, so SONY could swing ahead of the market curve here.
In light of all this, I think SONY could enjoy an image makeover. Besides "content", SONY is also a major electronics company with a reputation for quality. Unfortunately, SONY Electronics is also famous for odd limitations and disabilities in it's products, bespeaking a deep distrust of it's own customers. I think SONY does itself a big favour by recognizing how much faster a company's "brand image" can evolve for good or ill now that customers can chat together the world over.