I really like and agree with this passage:
i am not particularly fond of the following words when we talk about this stuff: steal, pirate, loot, illegal. i do not like the “store” or “neighborhood” metaphors. i do not think it’s helpful to police music fans, or set-up any type of “us vs. them” mentality. i do not think it’s the government’s responsibility to generate policy that tries to solve this. without the input of artists, they invariably get it wrong.
That’s why all of my comments on this issue have been about ethics, rather than morality or legality. I don’t care about what’s legal, and I’m not interested in shaming anyone. By framing it as an ethical issue I hope that prompts someone to reflect on her/his own personal behavior with regard to sharing/ripping/downloading music , and if and how it is consistent with their own values.
I can and do argue that if one considers herself to be in support of artists—especially independent artists—and otherwise in favor of humanist, even progressive causes, then it is hard to defend as ethical having Emily White’s music collection, made up of more than 99% ripped tracks for which the artists received no compensation.
But, ultimately, each of us has to be comfortable and satisfied with our own actions with regard to our own ethical standards. I’m not interested in shaming Emily White or anyone like her. I only wish to beg the question.
yesterday i tweeted this:
“i’m 2 busy hustling 2 make a living 2 wade into NPR’s E.White http://n.pr/Nx0Pge vs D.Lowery: http://bit.ly/LwFgbf but it all feels bad”
this, i’ll admit, was a hasty and somewhat confusing tweet.
and then my friend musician matt the electrician called (imagine that! a phone call!) wanting know what i really thought, because he’d read both articles and was curious. last night a friend stopped me to say she’d read my similar facebook post and was curious what i really thought too.
“i dont have time for this today”, is what i think. i’m up at 8am to start a day that will include the following: listen to and approve a radio edit for my new single, which has to get to the mastering lab this morning. read, edit, and approve a draft of the bio for my new record so that advance copies of the music can get to press in time for long lead coverage. confirm a rate and schedule a day as soon as possible with my photographer so we can make photos for my album package and publicity photos. film a new pitch vid for the final stages of my pledge music campaign, which closes next week. oh, and eat. and that’s just my morning.
it absolutely kills me that my current list of daily tasks, the inbox of the modern independant musician during pre-release set-up, keeps me from doing more than skimming these articles. this is important stuff, and i hate having to choose which fire to fight first. but i will try to take a second on this flare-up.
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