Tuesday, 9 April 2013

QUOTE OF THE DAY: A musician explains copyright to a thief

Last year, Cracker’s David Lowery wrote an open letter to an indy rock-loving student who’s boasted on her blog about having 11,000 songs in her music library, of which only 15 CDs worth had been paid for.

I … find this all this sort of sad.  Many in your generation are willing to pay a little extra to buy “fair trade” coffee that insures the workers that harvested the coffee were paid fairly.  Many in your generation will pay a little more to buy clothing and shoes from manufacturers that  certify they don’t use  sweatshops.  Many in your generation pressured Apple to examine working conditions at Foxconn in China.  Your generation is largely responsible for the recent cultural changes that has given more equality to same sex couples.  On nearly every count your generation is much more ethical and fair than my generation.   Except for one thing.  Artist rights.

[Hat tip Sanda Aistars]


  1. Not sure his examples stand. He's saying that the younger generation make a choice to cut out the fees of the middle man, but that's what they do regarding music also. It's a consistent approach. If he thinks that every cent it takes for a retail customer to buy a CD goes directly into his pocket as a musician, he's lying. He could easily call out a person who downloads pirated material for free, as theft, because no payment goes to anyone who created the product. But trying to defned corporate music industry profit is unsupportable in a download age.

  2. I have to agree with Frog.
    It’s NOT Artist rights at stack- it’s the record companies who have ripped off customers for decades!
    Music Artist should make their living by doing LIVE shows in front of an audience- recorded music should just be a marketing vehicle.

    BTW is not thief under the Crimes Act 1962, its copyright infringement- civil action, not criminal. Calling it theft is a red herring.


  3. 2 posters above me: You did not read the article, did you? That is the first concern she responds to.

    How about this:

    Read > understand > comment

    In that order. That way you don't look like an idiot.

  4. Powerful argument.

    I wonder where dotcom defenders fit?

  5. To be a thief, you have to deprive the rightful owner of possession of their property. This doesn't happen when you copy something.

  6. @UglyTruth: Well, you assert that--but what's your argument?

    And if you think it's okay to deprive someone of what they consider their property, is there any reason anyone would invite you into their home?

  7. @Peter,
    My argument is that fair use of a copyrighted work injures nobody.

    Calling some one a thief when they are not is slander.

    The copyright industry is predatory, it distributed file sharing software and then pushed for prosecution of the people who used it as described.

    The NZ body politic also injures people's right to fair use of public resources like roads.

    What I'm advocating is fair use, it doesn't involve depriving anyone of anything.


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