Artists, Music

Why we will always steal

If you’re attached to the blogosphere you have by now heard some of the myriad discussion going on because of an intern and a teacher. At issue is the legal vs ethical (sometimes called moral) and the socially acceptable process one uses to grow their music library, how you rationalize your advantage (aka access) and/or legitimize it. Not to mention the generational obfuscation made more apparent due to technological advances. It’s unfortunate that we’re having this discussion. Not because the subject matter is not important or valid, but because the remedy to this problem speaks to generational perceptions about morality. It’s easy to sit on one side of the fence and bemoan the lack of support one gets for all their hard work and against a system (like popular search engines) that makes finding and obtaining free stuff as easy as making mud pies. Or, to coyly snicker about the prevailing trend of society that makes getting/taking items for free an acceptable fad “everybody’s doing it”. Undoubtedly human nature is what it’s always been, often lacking the control mechanism to resist taking advantage of a nameless, faceless owner of products (especially when wearing the internet mask). Such was the case in London last year when during widespread rioting people that normally would not walk into a store and out with unpaid for items did so because for some, the prevailing mood and trend (however short-lived) made them willing to risk getting caught because so many were doing it, making it appear that the odds were in their favor to walk away unscathed.

In reality we’re all ” sticking it to Da [proverbial] Man”, when through our actions we carelessly regard others by design or default, the outcome is invariably the same. We’re inherently selfish and self-serving, and as social trends and mechanisms continue to obscure respect for the property of others through terms like “Freemium”, we’re not getting better neither is this seeming advantage to obtain all at “no or below cost” a greater expression of the freedom we claim to fight for in every war, but we are worse than those we call enemies if in impunity we take without purchase that which under threat of punishment we would be obliged to buy.

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