Sunday, February 26, 2006
- 2/26/2006 02:28:00 PM
So when I got my iPod digital music player, I immediately went to find someplace where I could buy music I wanted. You'd have thought I tore up the winning lottery ticket to hear one of my younger coworkers tell it. "You're BUYING music?!" he asked, incredulous. I felt like I'd walked into a Vegas casino and asked what time they closed.
"Well, yeah, buy music. You know, to put on my iPod."
He rolled his eyes. "Dude, I have 2500 songs. I don't think I paid for any of them."
"But that's stealing," I said, shocked.
"Oh grow up, that's why people love MP3's, you just go get music you like and download it. Record companies make plenty of money, don't worry about it."
Ah, the old "everybody's doing it" routine, I hadn't heard that since the "Brady Bunch" where they try to get Jan to do drugs (though to be frank, we'd all have been a little better off if Jan had ridden the M Train a little more often -- that chick was way too uptight).
It just didn't sit right with me. Maybe it's because of HeroMachine, but I know how much time, effort, and money goes into creating something new. It's hard. And if you don't get money to put food on the table, eventually you have to quit creating and go out and get a real job. So ultimately, music thieves are really only stealing from themselves, because eventually artists are going to stop putting out music if they can't make a living at it.
Still, I felt like a fuddy-duddy when I told him "Look, I just think it's stealing, and I'm not comfortable doing that. I like the songs I like and if I don't already have them on a CD, I don't mind shelling out $0.99 for 'Love Shack'."
"Yeah, that B52's song. Why?"
"Look, dude, it's not that you buy music. I can understand that. It's that you buy bad music."
So there you have it. According to much younger and much hipper geeks than me, it's ok to buy music as long as it's good music. Buying bad music, now that's a crime.