TWAS 503: (Warnings and Promises)
Glenn McDonald—previously a self-described “apologist” for not downloading unlicensed music—posts an articulate polemic on why he now “steals” music; and, more importantly, how the Music Industry has lost its franchise on expecting the loyalty that had previously prevented it.
He provides several specific examples where old-school business practices (and new-school ignorance) have made it difficult to be an honest fan and to support the artist as one would like.
Worth reading through and sharing with anyone you know with a band or a label.
In a single year, not too long ago, I bought 1000 CDs, and most of them were yours. I continue to pay still. I bought two CDs this week, and will almost certainly buy more than 100 over the course of this calendar year. I have paid for legal downloads, as well. I have stubbornly forgiven you your trespasses against everyone you nominally serve, and kept supporting the idea of music as a Big Business. I have never condoned your numeric monopolies and tasteless denominator-lowering, but I support the dream of musicians being able to simply make music for their living, rather than operating themselves as a business, and somewhere far back in history that was what Industry allowed.
But I have also now started stealing your music. I haven’t stolen much, but I’m sure you will agree that the moral issue is not merely one of quantity. I have been one of the last independent apologists for a moral kernel, elusive now to perhaps the point of imagination, in your corrupt and desperate retreat, but now even I have given up. I still buy, but now I also steal. You have forfeited your right to my loyalty.