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Old 07-29-2009, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 922
Re: The beginning of the end for P2Ps/Torrent Sites?
Originally Posted by Sean View Post
Of course there's a difference in that one is physical and one is digital, but the glaring flaw in your point here is that the potential for a seemingly infinite number of digital files being copied with ease and at no cost is simply irrelevant. What is relevant is how many copies, regardless of format, are actually consumed by the public and whether or not those copies were paid for. That's why the sentence "it is possible to 'steal' a digital file and cause absolutely no damage to anyone" is stunningly naive. Ask yourself, "what if everyone downloaded a particular digital album illegally instead of buying it?" Of course the answer would be that the artist who created the album would get absolutely no return on their financial, creative, and time investments, regardless of whether it was 100 people who illegally downloaded it, or 1,000,000. And by extension that would likely have a significant negative affect on their ability to continue creating the music that you and everyone else are sitting at home enjoying your stolen copies of. Nowhere in that reality does it matter that a digital file could be duplicated for free. The consequences of having a product stolen remain the same regardless of whether that product was physical or digital.
Well I'm sorry for being 'stunningly naive" but I'm sick of people saying that downloading = shoplifting. I know that some people will think that every download = one lost sale, but that's simply not true. A kid who has 10,000 albums and downloads 10,000 more that he never intends to listen to is not then causing the music industry $150,000 worth of damage. The actual figure would probably be about $0. If he shoplifted CDs then he is definitely hurting the music business. Yes, it takes control out of the hands of the artists and can hurt them, but it's not going to go away, and calling it outright 'theft' is a little strongarmed when you compare it to the theft of physical products. Yes, if everyone downloaded the album instead of buying it, the artists would be losing money. Same thing if everyone who test drove a certain car didn't buy it. The idea that the amount of people downloading and not buying your album is valid but only in a narrow view. If a million people download your album, there's interest for a tour, merchandise, advertising; maybe you wouldn't want to do that stuff, but it's not as though every album was guaranteed to recoup its investment post-digital age through CD sales either. In fact, in that age you'd probably never even be able to record and release your own music.

Originally Posted by Sean View Post
Generally speaking, the value is 99 cents per track. Why is that any harder to accept than placing a value of around $15 on a physical CD that only costs pennies to press? Everything that's available for purchase is subject to having a relatively arbitrary value placed on it, digital files included.
I meant in terms of the artist, not the consumer. When I download an album that I didn't intend to purchase, how much money is the artist losing? Could they actually be making money from that? Hard to say isn't it?

Originally Posted by Sean View Post
As for Radiohead, I'd hardly call them emerging artists. They were already solidly established, and as such can count on a certain amount of guaranteed success with each release. Although personally, I don't view that as any kind of justification for stealing their albums. But that aside, my primary concern lies with lesser known artists who suffer the repercussions of your actions on a much more severe level. The people to whom every sale counts as they try to get their careers off the ground.
Understood. But the fact of the matter is that Kid A NEVER would have hit #1 if not for illegal, immoral, and selfish theft. That makes this not such a black and white issue.

Originally Posted by Sean View Post
So then in your view, purchasing one item from a group justifies stealing multiple other items from them as well? Does that mean that the converse would be true, and I could feel just spiffy about buying one of their albums, and then sneaking into a few of their concerts for free? Nevermind the separate laundry list of expenses that go into putting on a concert - lighting, roadies, managers, venue, transportation, security, etc. - after all, the band has already profited from my single album purchase, so there's nothing wrong with enjoying the non-physical product that is a few concerts, right?
Or maybe we should apply the same thought process to downloadable software. I record my music using Reason. Since I already bought a previous version of the program, I might as well just steal any upgrades that come out for it from now on. Nevermind research and development costs, employee salaries, marketing costs, etc. - after all, they've already profited from me, and it's not a physical product.
This line of reasoning is nothing more than weak justification for selfish, unethical, illegal behavior.
Naaah, I'm actually pretty good about buying albums from bands I actually do like and supporting the artists that I'm a big fan of. If you want to argue that it's illegal or unethical, that's one thing. But that's not the logic I'm trying to use here. I'm just arguing that it's not as black and white as *actual* theft. Consider these scenarios:

1. A guy who has never heard of your band is burned a copy of the CD by a friend, and then buys a ticket to a show.
2. Someone sneaks into a non-sold out concert, likes the music, and buys a T-shirt
3. Someone downloads a copy of a certain software, but likes it enough to buy the next version when it comes out.

Now, according to what you're saying, all three of these people are immoral, selfish, and acting outside the law. However in all three cases, the artist/band/software company has made money from this behavior at NO COST. I'm not saying downloading music is ethically sound. I know it would be bad if EVERYONE did it and nobody bought CDs. But that's just not what's happening now and probably not what's going to happen in the future

You can be upset that your friends are no longer able to make music because they only sold 1,000 copies of a disc due to everyone downloading. But how do you know that the disc wouldn't have sold only 500 if nobody downloaded it?

Last edited by 34958hq439-qjw9v5jq298v5j; 07-29-2009 at 07:49 AM.