A little disclaimer, to me file sharing is more than media piracy and I’ll write about that in the next lines.
This is a massive wall of text so if you want to skip most of it, just go to the end and read “Piracy isn’t always bad!”.
File sharing is a dear topic to me, in the past I had huge discussions about the subject with friends, forum users and even one time with people who were representing SPA (Portuguese authors society) in an Portuguese AudioShow.
Media sharing isn’t always piracy, for example many indie artists and torrent distros are shared online for free, the same goes for many other things.
Sadly “file” sharing will be always connected with piracy, some people make money from piracy and others make it from fighting piracy, so in this ongoing war everybody wants something.
Pirates these days are everyday users wanting free access to something, they wont pay for piracy like in the old days when people bought CDs & DVDs from friends and “white van” sellers.
People want free stuff and sadly the internet is the best way to get it these days, but remember that in the past people also shared stuff but had to access real media to do it, for example record a tape or minidisc from a CD.
They want profit or the fight the system song!
Now this goes against any company idea of profit, people sharing stuff for free is less profit to the company. Resulting in lawsuits and other legal strikes to the people who share stuff via internet.
In the past companies didn’t know who shared what, because it was all done locally but these days every single thing you do will be in a log file somewhere or it can be tracked.
The problem with this kind of attitude, is that it brings really bad PR to the companies who defend their legal rights, resulting in more piracy from upset users!
Companies and artists are now fighting fire with fire, “U2” last album can be downloaded for free on itunes! Smart move, this way people will flock to itunes and its amazing PR for Apple and “U2”!
This also means the record company can have better stats of the sucess of the Album.
Sadly some people still think piracy is a way of fighting the system, I do understand this kind of idea but not all record companies make tons of money with their artists. Some artists suffer a lot because of this line of thinking.
To pay or not to pay…
You work (I hope) or your parents do it for you. Everybody likes to get paid for their work, its that simple.
The problem is that people can’t know how much work an artist did on a project, so most people don’t want to pay much.
The best way to solve this problem is using the Loudr style of payments.
Pay as little as possible or pay as much as you want, the artist always wins and Loudr makes some money from all of it. Its a win win situation.
Streaming services are also an amazing way of paying little to have a lot, even if I don’t enjoy that kind of service.
Lossless music is an amazing way of making people who really enjoy music pay a little bit more without complaining, the same goes for HD-Audio, the market who buys this kind of files knows the value of music.
If artists and record companies don’t sell their work online, piracy will take their place for free.
Piracy isn’t always bad!
Some people just don’t have enough money to buy music at the end of the month, I’m talking about people who really fight to save some money because of their low income.
For example in Portugal there are many library’s but not many have options for music. This means people with less income don’t have direct access to culture besides free live concerts and stuff their friends with internet access give to them.
I think access to culture should be given to the ones who can’t afford it.
Falling to do this means families will have less culture to fight their income problem.
Being poor is a awful thing for kids growing up on a consumer oriented lifestyle, but if you give these kids access to the culture other kids have, things can change to their families on the long run.
I know kids from poor origins that went to universities and gave the push their families needed to go out from poverty.
This brings me to “piracy isn’t always bad” opinion, people should share music with the ones that don’t have access to it.
Because they can one day become great musicians, mastering engineers, luthiers and even record company CEOs.
Music and culture empowers people to change their life, I’m not talking about the American dream because these days thats very hard, I’m talking about at least give people a goal to enjoy life more without so many worries and if they can’t have a great income they can at least have great music in their life.
Maybe I’m a dreamer but I believe music has the power to change humanity and file sharing can help with that.
…but that’s me…