I Don’t Steal Music and that’s How I Rebel

By Chris McGinty (AccordingToWhim.com)

I think sometimes that when
society shifts a certain way that it’s society’s duty to stop and shift back.
Two decades ago, the internet became a household thing. The early days were a
little rough. I used to half-assed joke that the internet was useless. It was
entertainment, sure, but it was not the tool it is today. A little over a
decade ago, file sharing became a trend. There was likely file sharing going on
already between people who had web space or a server of their own, but peer to
peer brought it to the public, the way that everything eventually gets to the
Unfortunately, around the same
time, the music industry started experiencing a dip in sales. What happens
often when something goes wrong at your workplace and the blame can’t be traced
directly back to any one person or group of people? An outside influence is
blamed. Peer to peer was the scapegoat. There could have been any number of
reasons or influences, but the music industry started a multi-million dollar
campaign to blame peer to peer for their multi-million dollar losses. The
problem is that while parts of the music industry were losing money, there were
parts that were still profiting.
In subsequent years, those who
embraced the internet as the new marketplace thrived. Those who did not
continued throwing money at the problem of losing money. People were sued for
monetary amounts that didn’t equal the crime of stealing x number of CDs, but
there were still ads that equated downloading music to petty theft. Nevermind
that we hear most music for free, sometimes hundreds of times, before we buy
it. I still own nothing by Boston
in spite of the thousands of times I’ve listened to their music. They are a
band that I enjoy hearing on the radio, not a band that I wish to listen to
often. Heck, even in the days when I downloaded music, I never downloaded Boston. And yet, I think
they’re a great band.
The point is that the music
industry pushed the truest fans of music away by not letting us preview the
bands we enjoyed. I never stopped buying CDs. I’ve bought 10 CDs this year
alone. I listen to most music on You Tube, Pandora, Playlist though, even
albums I own. Why? Because I’m on my computer or my phone more often than I’m
driving in my car now. Also, because those websites are ad based, and I don’t
acquire copies of what I listen to.

I decided when SOPA was a thing that I would play by
the music industry’s rules, but I would give them less of my money. I’ve always
bought used, but I’ve stepped it up now. The ten CDs cost me $1. Not a piece.
$1 total. I download music still, but I download from artists who offer their
music for free. There are bands out there that make little to no money,
sometimes losing money, to present their music to the public. Let’s listen to
them for a while. Sure, the music industry will continue to blame the internet
as long as they lose money, but someday when the stop blaming and start
adapting, they will make more money than they thought was possible.

Leave a Reply