Does anybody read these?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Arrrgggh... Pirates!

I wish these were the cool kind in the Caribbean (or that I was at Shipwreck's Landing with a limin' coconut), but they're not. They're the assholes that steal music on the Internet.

OK, so you see where my opinion lies. I wrote this for an online discussion board I'm on and it was too good to not put here. (And besides, it'll get y'all off my back for a few days and I won't have to write about what I really need to write about.)

I'm a writer. People have stolen my shit before. Luckily, it's not usually shit that anyone would pay for like a really cool song. But people have stolen my work shit before, and it does cost money to have lawyers send letters and do damage control.

Anyhow, here's what I wrote there. After you read it, feel free to weigh in with a comment, either for or against... I know I have songwriters who read here, someone who sells media for a living; surely someone has an opinion, and maybe we can get a spirited discussion going!

I live in Nashville. I'm not a songwriter, but I have many friends who are. While you think that you're sticking it to some suit in some office in LA or Madonna, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks or someone else who has more money than God, you're not.

When people illegally (yes, it's illegal) download music, they are stealing from folks just like you and me who happen to write songs or work as studio musicians. Tim McGraw or Dave Matthews might not miss the 9 cents or whatever it is they make off each song, but my friend Glen sure does. He has a family to feed, a house and car to pay for, and he makes money by playing on CDs and writing songs. He only makes a few cents per CD, but it adds up -- both when people are buying music and when people are stealing it.

How freaking hard is it to use iTunes when you want one song? It's not. They're 99 cents there. I know this because I buy all of Glen's songs there in my meager efforts to make up for all you assholes who steal so you can stick it to the man. Would you walk into Target and take a Bob Seger CD off the shelf and walk out? Hell no, you wouldn't. So instead of doing that, you're a weanie who steals from Bob Seger in the comfort of your own home. While I don't agree with the RIAA's tactics and I think they need to work a little harder to make their products more with the times and what consumers want than take Grannies to court for Britney Spears songs they probably didn't download, I think that much like Target would call the cops on your ass if you stuffed a copy of "Live Bullet" in your pants, the RIAA should probably do something to try to stop you.

I buy songs on iTunes. I buy CDs on iTunes. It's a lot easier than downloading viruses on Limewire or whatever it is that the RIAA hasn't shut down yet. Anyone who doesn't do it is just lazy and/or cheap. You know what happens when I don't have the money to buy a new CD I really want? Just like back in 1994 when I got my first CD player, I just don't buy it until I have the money and listen to the song on the radio.

Why? Because I don't steal. It's that simple. I'm not going to put a CD in my purse at the store and I'm not going to download CDs from the Internet without paying for them. I'm not a goody two-shoes or anything, I just personally know the people who hurt when folks STEAL from them. I wish you personally knew them all too.

As for DVDs, I rent them from Blockbuster.com. It's $12 a month and well worth it. If I want to keep watching a DVD, I go buy it. If you're too lazy for that, most cable companies broadcast movies right into your TV. Of course, that also costs money.

This issue just gets me riled up, and I'm sure I've pissed a lot of people off. You don't even have to leave your house to buy CDs or rent movies. You just have to spend a little money. If you're too cheap to do that or can't afford it, you need to re-work your entertainment budget. Sorry, that's just how it should be.

Or maybe these aren't the only things you steal, in which case none of this matters to you anyhow. If they are the only things you steal, rethink your opinions on the matter. You're breaking the law, and you really are hurting a lot of people who depend on album and movie sales to survive. You spending $10 for a CD could be the difference between a struggling songwriter getting to eat or living in his car...

4 comment(s):

Preach ON, sister. Excellently put. Good on ya - and thanks.

By Blogger Toma, at 2/28/2008 5:12 PM  

Wow. I have to say I've never put much thought into all of that, but then again, I buy cd's in the store or online and don't download. I also wouldn't copy something I hadn't actually bought either. You are so right - the big stars won't hurt too much, but it's the genius who actually comes up with the work that suffers. Some people will never learn this is wrong or will think they never get caught, so they will continue. Hopefully, a reasonable solution will be found (aside from the obvious of not stealing!)

Good work. I love your thoughts. Charlene

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/29/2008 10:26 PM  

I have to agree with you. I know a store locally that sell pirated copies of movies and I am seriously thinking about turning then in.

By Blogger rosalie, at 3/01/2008 7:43 PM  

Its an ongoing battle that is for sure....
Did you hear about the lady who was fined $3000 from the courts for having 1500 songs that were downloaded illegally and she was sharing them? Well she tried to fight the court and instead of having to just pay the $3000 (1000 people received fines) she fought it and lost and now owes $120,000.
It will have to stop eventually (my amounts and stuff are probably all messed up but you get the jest of it)

By Blogger Random Musings Of My Life, at 3/02/2008 1:04 AM  

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