Sunday, December 17

Music Piracy: Right or Wrong?

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Music piracy.  It is something that many people have engaged in one time or another.  It is about as ubiquitous as speeding on the highway.  Is it right and fair to do all the time?  Probably not.  But it is certainly no high crime.

In some ways this is a tough question.  I am a firm believer in intellectual property.  I think that artists have right to their “music” or whatever art form they are involved in.  It is their work as much as if they built it with their own hands.  But really it is not the “artists” who usually suffer it is the middle men, who often take much of the profits because they hold the only way for an artist to distribute their work.


Let me use a concrete example.  Regardless of whether you like it or not this article is MY piece of work.  A part of MY art.  I make a small (believe me small: how many ways can you divide a penny)  profit every time someone views this.  Since this is MY art lets take two examples.

1.  Mr.  Pirate comes along.  He copies my work. Puts his name on it and sells 100 copies.  In this case piracy is 100% wrong.  He stole from me.  Called it his own and made money from it.  I was hurt.  This website was hurt.  Everyone suffers but him.

2.  Joe Fan comes along.  He likes the article and sends 100 copies to friends.  It cost me money.  It cost the website potential ad revenue.  But really this is OK.  I get exposure, maybe one of those 100 friends hires me for something.  Maybe some read my other works here on Helium.  If that happens we all profit.  I would of course rather get 100 people here to read my stuff and make me money directly, but for an artist, exposure is worth more.  and for a smart business exposure will end up driving customers.  Just think of it as an ad budget you do not need.


Done the right way there are still ways for companies who distribute music to make a profit.  They just need to adjust to a new paradigm.  There is an even better opportunity for music artists to have a chance to be heard and “get their music out there”.  It really is a, Brave New World for those that are willing to seize the opportunity.

In the case of “Piracy” Pandora’s box has been opened.  All of the technology is out there, people need to either adapt to the new paradigm or get crushed by it.  Like the fable, opening Pandora’s did set a fair amount of evils lose in the world and there will be unethical people that push it too far.  But remember the important thing..

What was left in the box?  What is left for our future with concerns to the music industry?


But what do you think???


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