Society benefits from the dissemination of culture. Limiting this dissemination hurts the overall quality of the society in which we live. To create a better society, these things need to be accessible to as large of an audience as possible as cheaply as possible, which requires the protection of such creations through property rights.
I get that it's easy to copy and people will find ways to get off as cheap as possible. I don't have a problem with that concept. I don't have a problem with people saying that companies need to evolve, to capture what people want--the best quality things at the cheapest possible price point.
I agree with all of this.
However, I have a problem with the belief that this price point should be zero and that people who don't compensate creators are doing nothing wrong by taking, copying, and then distributing the creation of someone else's labor as if they have actually done anything of consequence.
But is this really what is happening? That would be my argument.
Trust me, I get it. Like I pointed out earlier though, I would have probably spent less money on music if I hadn't done some copying. Copying has allowed people to pinpoint their tastes, cycle through all of the crap, and really find what they are passionate about. The music industry doesn't really understand that.
I would have never listened to or gotten the chance to listen to Whiskeytown without copying, which means I probably wouldn't have found and bought Wilco, which means I would have never copied Uncle Tupelo, which means I would have never found the North Mississippi All Stars, which means I would have never paid to see the Hold Steady 6 times, bought every album, some LPs a t-shirt and a whole bunch of awesome memories.
Is it stealing and/or theft? That;s semantics. Is it an illegal use of copyright? Of course. Is it morally wrong? Wellll...at its foundation, yes, it is the taking of something that's not yours.
But is it worth it for me AND for the record industry? Quite possibly.
(Granted, that's not all cases, but I really have a hard believing that free exposure is a bad thing. And I also find it hard to believe that MOST downloaders live in some non-consumption bubble. They are going to consume, they are going to pay for something, somewhere. I mean you are downloading something because you like it, most likely because you really like it. There's something to be said for that outside of legal standings).
This post was edited on 2/13 at 3:55 pm