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Legal perhaps, but is it the Right Thing To Do?

My partner & I disagree about the "morality" of downloading music from newsgroups and burning albums for our own listening pleasure.

He feels the practise is akin to theft. The artist is realizing nothing from the practise and therefore it is morally wrong.

I argue that I've read articles by seemingly well informed authors that detailed how most recording artists today make NOTHING on CD sales. That's because the "label" fronts all the money for production, post production, distribution, promotion, videos, etc. and UNTIL ALL THAT IS PAID BACK from sales, the artist gets nothing. Considering that the vast majority of artists never sell enough CDs to make the payback, it follows that the artists get nothing from CD sales anyway! (Artists benefit from the exposure and get concert dates - that's where they make their money).

In Canada where we live, the government collects a levy - about 20 cents per CD at the moment - on the assumption that most people use blank CDs to make "illegal copies." The money collected is supposed to be distributed somehow to the artists. Leaving the logic and veracity of the assumption aside, I've been on this planet long enough to not believe any of the 20 cents ever gets to an artist!

Anyway... anyone else have any thoughts?

geewhizza's reply to RAE #109 @


RAE's reply to RAE #110 @

I guess what we're both acknowledging is that music is first and foremost a BUSINESS and if business can get away with "ripping off" customers and keep 'em coming back for more, then that's what they will continue to do.

A CD, when produced in bulk, including cover art, case, label and any packaging, can't COST any more than $1.00. To sell it for 10 to 25 times as much seems like a ripoff. But no more so than many other popular items - one that jumps to mind is DIAMONDS. de Beers has them piled up by the TON in store rooms and withholds them from market to artificially inflate the prices.

With today's technologies - photocopiers, scanners, laser printers, burners, etc., it seems almost anything can be reproduced at home by the enterprising individual. Without turning our countries into police states, there's simply nothing that the "authorities" can do about it.

I reaffirm that "artists" (and I use the term loosely with most of the noise makers putting out CDs these days) make their money out of concerts and building the mystique around their names, NOT from selling Joe Average a CD here and there. That CD is like a mini-billboard - it's advertising, hype and promotion - so they can hook you into something more lucrative later on.

Just like organized religion.

I'm burnin 'em as fast as I can!