Piracy is theft.
Piracy isn’t theft because nothing physical is being stolen.
You are taking money out of the hands of artists.
Artists were already being ripped off by labels.
Artists can make the money back by touring.
Here is a bulleted list of numbers showing how much it costs to be a working musician compared with how much you get for touring.
By reducing the economic incentives for producing music, you are reducing the number of people who become musicians, and thus the quality of music overall.
Remixes, mash-ups, and other forms of sampling show how digital music is encouraging creativity.
The music industry is stifling creativity by filing copyright violation notices on remixers, mash-uppers, and samplers.
The music industry is unjustly harassing downloaders, levying fines far in excess of actual damages.
By exposing people to more music, freely-available digital music prompts more people to buy music.
Music sales have dropped dramatically since the introduction of MP3s.
Music sales have dropped because music got worse.
Music sales were always inflated by the introduction of overpriced new formats and albums padded with filler.
It doesn’t cost anything to make music now, so it shouldn’t cost anything to buy music.
Here is a bulleted list of numbers showing how much it costs to make music.
Music should be free.
It’s already free on the radio.
People have been stealing music for a long time.
Artists don’t deserve to make a living making music.
Musicians should just be happy to be making music and shouldn’t worry about making money from it.
Big tech corporations are encouraging “free culture” and are the ones profiting from music now.
Copyright laws are unrealistic and designed to benefit big corporations.
Copyright laws, accurately designed, can protect creators and encourage creativity.
It’s easier to pirate music than to buy it.
No it’s not.
The record industry needs to develop a better business model.
Why can’t I just pay for one streaming service with all of the music in the world.
Only hopelessly backwards artists and labels don’t sign with streaming services.
Streaming services pay almost nothing per play, making such agreements basically worthless.
If you have money and love music you should be willing to pay money for it.
The Internet has made it possible for artists to develop their careers independent of labels, and I support those artists.
I don’t want to have to deal with an evil record company.
Record companies socialize the costs of launching new artists, allowing successful ones to subsidize riskier unproven artists.
The only musicians that can be successful as independent artists already have label-grown existing fanbases.
It is economically rational for me to pay as little money for a desired commodity as possible, so the existence of pirate-able music demands, by market logic, that I download it.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 25, 2012