Geez, Will, and you were doing so well.........but then you show yourself for a real lightweight when you come to your finale......I had such hopes.....sigh
It's like this, bro. You can't mix up two things, and if you would read CAREFULLY and exercise intellect and a sense of right and wrong, you would see it. The making of a mixed tape for ones personal use is completely proper and harms no one. The taping of a TV show for ones personal use is a proper use of a VCR. I have many tapes, and now CD's of music that I have paid for, and made a copy for my personal use. But you could ask my friends, the latest being a local pub owner, who asked me to burn him a copy of on of my Black Family CD's. I love this guy, and he employs my band. But I turned him down. I loaned him mine, and ordered him one of his own. My guess is he will pay me for it. It is the giving away that violates the boundary. In Napsters case, it is the giving away to the whole world. Fundamentally giving away one bandit tape to a friend, and making it available to the entire world on the Internet may be the same thing; but looked at as a matter of scale, and the difference is huge. I am not trying to tell you that I never made a tape and gave it away, because I have. Honestly, it was very few, and I came to a point in my life where I sat down, sought a definiton of intellectual property, opened my eyes to what I was doing to hardworking artists, and came to the conclusion that theft is just that.
Wil, I mean you no personal insult. But you, like others here, seek to mitigate your guilt because it has been convenient and you like being able to do it. You like getting something for nothing. I like that too. Do I believe that these technologies will change the way we do business? Yes I do. Am I happy about that? Absolutely. I believe that ultimately the artist can use these to control their works, and keep a larger portion of the fruits of their labor. Then what is my bitch? Because I hear people that I otherwise respect, and young friends that I think very highly of like Matt R., refusing to acknowledge the basic truth that they are avoiding paying for something that they would otherwise have to purchase. I hear you using any argument, or mixing arguments like you did above, to try and justify that you are cheating several people/entities out of their just desserts. Do I really give a shit about BMG getting theirs? Nah, not in a personal way. But I have seen too many times what happens when otherwise good people seek to hide behind the curtain and not see the elemental truth. It allows us to be coerced into doing injustice, not activally, but by virtue of not supporting justice. Pablo Freire once commented that washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means that you have sided with the powerful, not remained neutral. In this case the software and the concept are the powerful, and the artist is powerless (as Dave's original post shows) to control how it is distributed. That is stealing. I am only asking that you look at motive in an honest way.