I just want to make my position on this issue clear, and then I’m going to try to never talk about it again because it’s ultimately a moral issue and those are subjective and make people very angry.
I’m not anti-piracy. I am anti-whining, anti attacking the band we love, and anti attacking other fans. And yeah, I call it piracy. That’s not a moral judgement, it just makes me feel like a badass. I like pretending I’m Captain Jack Sparrow for no good reason.
I stand by my position that if you have a computer and an internet connection, you can probably scrape together $40. However… if that’s all you can scrape together, you maybe shouldn’t spend it on Hanson. Spend it on something like a Fathers’ Day present or a night out with your friends. Save it for a rainy day.
I am very fond of my pirate hat. I have something like a 140 gigabytes worth of music on my hard drive and my ipod. How much of that did I pay for? Well… less than half. That doesn’t even include anime series, video games, and sundry other intellectual property I’ve acquired through the magic of torrent files. My favorite is the entire Pimsleur Spanish language program. (I have Rosetta Stone too, but I stand firm in my position that it’s over-rated.) Bought new, that would be something like $700 total. I’m not fluent in Spanish yet, but thanks to this acquisition I’m well on my way. That’s like stealing knowledge, man. I feel really awesome about that. Maybe when I am fluent in Spanish, I’ll shoot the company some money. It probably won’t be seven hundred bucks, though.
Up until about a month ago, I had been living with my parents for about three years. I spent about half that time in minimum wage jobs, and the rest of it unemployed and/or earning a second college degree. For four years before that, I was a full-time college student. While during those four years I didn’t have to worry about expenses much because of the grace of my parents and my good grades, I didn’t have much in the way of spending money. So for the years between 2004 and 2011, most of the music I listened to I didn’t pay for.
I don’t feel bad about that, not at all. If I hadn’t pirated music I would have been restricted to music videos on youtube (bleh) and the music that the radio plays (double bleh). Putting myself in the artists’ shoes, if I were a musician, I would much rather people listen to my work and not pay than not listen to my work at all.