Ok, I understand this has been covered six ways from Sunday…
Hell, most teenagers today, asked what Napster is, would respond with blank stares or derision, as in, “Napster? what’s Nap… Oh. Phht… That’s ancient. Lemme show you this thing we in the future call Limewire…”
Not to mention the controversy between them and Metallica, although Metallica’s album sales still haven’t recovered… ^^ Which I’m not exactly displeased by…. ‘Cause in my personal opinion, that whiny bitch Lars can go suck a cock. I mean, really. You need another freakin’ jet? Earn one on the freakin’ streets. Everything since Load sucked anyway, you might as well follow suit.
Now, see, I understand the point of view of a lot of struggling artists, who really need the album sales to justify good bookings for a tour, which is where most artists make a name and most of their money… Those are the artists who can’t afford to lose a single album sale.
Aaaand it’s theft.
No, really. You can debate the grey areas ’till you’re blue in the face, but essentially you’re getting for free what someone else sweated to make and would really like to be paid for. So I don’t have much sympathy for the people who complain after they get caught, or who say it shouldn’t be illegal.
How about I go into your house and steal that ’62 split-window Stingray you broke down, cleaned, repaired, and re-assembled? Or maybe go over to your dad’s and steal the boat he built? maybe that manuscript your kid’s been working on, that great American novel?
Would you like it if I didn’t pay a penalty for that? Would you like it if it were a slap on the wrist?
Okay. So, do the crime, do the time. Don’t like the law, change the damned law, but don’t come crying to me. I’m liberal, but damnit, man up. Stealing is stealing.
There’s only one exception to that point of view: if the album/video/book on tape/whatever does not exist anywhere for sale from any person, corporation or other business entity new; that includes the artists themselves (who can be fairly obliging to fans looking for out of print works), and that includes places like Amazon’s mp3 store or (god forbid) iTunes, as well. At that point I could see going to Emule or mininova, or whatever resource you had to, to get that itch scratched. Even so, what I’d probably do to satisfy my own feeling of debt to the artist who created it would be to send a check for the fair market value to that person/s, along with a short note of apology.