I was never really into music, until I got to middle school where you needed to know music to be cool. But listening to the radio didn't give me the right information, and the range of music just blew.
Then one day came Napster.
I started downloading everything, lyrics, album info and such and really got to get to know music, I was able to buy all the right stuff and amassed a good size collection (as much as one can at that age working odd jobs and saving lunch money)
I'd share the music with my friends, and tell them about artists I had heard, and get them to buy a copy too.
Then Metallica put out a really crappy CD. I loved their other stuff.. and I was pretty satisfied with the ones I already owned. Then THEY attacked Napster, and actually won. No surprise really, but I said **** them, and went back to listening to the radio for new music. Never bought another album again.
Today, what I see in person is in such conflict with these stupid cases. The Statute of Anne was much more sensible in so many ways. It makes sense it was written in our constitution that there needed to be limits on copyright in order to promote science and useful arts. I hang out with a log of musicians, and spend a lot of at open mics and drum circles. The music is about the music, and people live to share.
I used to copy music I liked, but I discovered I was wasting my time. Why should I promote the music written by people that don't even believe in music the way I do. Now, I use Jamendo, and when I meet an artist, and they tell me about their beliefs, I point them in the direction of creative commons.
I promote music by artists that love music the way I do. Same reason to use Linux; it is software for people that love computers, not people that found a way to make a buck at exploiting the stupidity of others. Linux is a community where everyone is given equal access to everything possible because that is the best way for new creativity to spawn, and in return the people that put in their time and effort "working for Linux" get what they want in return: Not the money to possibly afford the title of the day, but again, everything the community has to offer.
With Linux, the more I give, the more I learn, and the more I get in return.
I don't buy indy labels because I don't go to music stores. If I buy an album, I get the hand drawn, signed, one of a kind from the artist himself. One time I was listening to a guy on a street corner in Santa Cruz, California (BIG music / punk / hippy city) playing a Cello. I listened for about 2 hours, struck up a conversation with the guy, and ended up buying him a new set of strings. Still, the best concert I have ever heard.
I know it will never happen. Who ever is in power will always fight to keep the system the same because it worked for them. People will thrive in ANY environment because humans are amazing that way... but what I support is make it the best environment to promote culture, music, and education by making information distribution as awesome as possible with better Internet and better protocols like bit torrent. It is the library of the digital age.
After that, THEN let the scum of the earth come crawling out from under their rocks and find a way to exploit it and squeeze as many pennies out of the system as possible through market research and providing something unique.
You say people being able to give things away for free is communism. I say you got it all wrong. Sharing is at the heart of humanity. Communism is going to the government and making a law to put fake rules into place that allow you to control a system no matter how many people it hurts. Copyright is government trying to control the system.
Why do we still have libraries, and where did they come from? What are they for? Don't they just promote mass piracy? Were libraries only "acceptable" because they are hard to get to and inconvenient? Poor and low on money? Or were they meant to encourage thought and education for free to the best that the technology of the day could provide?
Well, today we have the Internet. It is revolutionizing the way people think and share. It is going to kill the library, but only because every adult and child in the world is going to have direct access the greatest library in history.
Do you think we could survive in such a world? Know what, I think we can. This is why Peter Sunde is a hero of the day. He is the great librarian of the 21st century, and we should give him praise for his vision, a vision I support with all my heart.
Long Live The Pirate Bay!