On Progress & Sanctimonious Douchebags
by Alex Carnevale
Whenever you dig in the meat of a comments section on the Oink file sharing network shutdown, you inevitably get to the prick portion:
There’s been a lot of handwringing since Oink got shut down from people who were like, “Way to go, federal authorities!” As if the free distribution of art were an evil that had to be stopped in the world!
You have to be a particularly sick kind of person to feel sympathy for record companies. They’ve spent years pricing consumers out of buying their products. They’ve moved slower than snails when it comes to new technologies. They’ve refused to update an outdated economic model, and they’ve openly used anti-competitive practices to price gouge exactly the people who can least afford it.
If they were selling tobacco, would you still feel that warmly towards them?
“Police Sweater Blood Vow” — The Fiery Furnaces (mp3)
You have a truly bright guy like Dave making the case against the RIAA, and some of the people smearing him are actually music bloggers! Including people at Idolator, another site which openly shares music!
This pathetic adherence to federal law is sad on many levels. To think that people who seek to freely distribute music are somehow evil villains, you would have to ignore the following facts:
1) No matter what the music industry or its bizarrely loyal flacks do, music will keep getting shared freely between those who can afford it and those who can’t.
2) Once we concede fact no. 1, we have to keep it in mind as we process our second point. The “illegal” downloading and sharing of music turns listeners onto new artists and actually makes them more likely to buy an album than they normally would. Illegal methods of distribution aren’t going away. The sooner corporations realize this, the more likely consumers will be to opt for their product.
3) Only a delusional moron would say that the person who chooses ‘free’ over ‘pay’ is making an evil decision, or is stealing something. Choosing what’s best for you in the context of the market is what capitalism is all about! Paying for something you can get for free is practically a communist precept.
The funniest thing about all this is that some of the people defending the RIAA, one of the most godawful waste of time organizations ever to exist on this earth, are themselves music bloggers! This dude runs one of my favorite blogs! This is so sad! Has he any idea of how much music I have “stolen” from his site?
As a friend of mine wrote to me about the Rawkblog post (once again, way to go Dave Greenwald, you’re a hero to millions),
I’m just catching up on this rawkblog vs fluxblog debate, and I hate Perpetua so much right now. Nobody but his mother would know his name right now if not for the “stolen” music he used to create his “fame” and now he’s using that “fame” to spill his bullshit. What an assclown.
I mean, he has a sweet blog, it’s too bad he’s going on about this.
“The Mix Is So Bizarre” — The Eternals (mp3)
“Strange Ways” — Madvillain (mp3)
“It’s Amiable” — Benzos (mp3)
As Matt posted on his site:
We are NOT entitled to getting everything we want for free because it’s “information” available for the taking if you happen to have a computer with a good connection and free time.
Um, Matt, that’s like looking at a waterfall and being like, “that water has NO RIGHT to fall like that.” It’s gonna happen whether you participate or not, and YOU DO.
Danish and I were wondering why this whole attitude of Matt’s upsets us so much. He opined via gchat:
hypocrisy makes me angry, anti progress makes me angry
statism makes me angry
and this incorporates all of that
What scares me the most about all this is the loss of a revolutionary feeling. Why are all these people, most of them young people, on the side of the government? Do you know what the government does? Are you familiar with the 60s?
Before civil rights, were these the same people who were like, “Well it’s the law, so let’s go lynch some peeps.” (Note: yes, lynching was the law in the South. It was the law.)
I mean, seriously, do you have any ability to think for yourselves?
Let’s not start yelling at me. I don’t even use Limewire anymore. The only downloading I do is from my favorite site, The Hype Machine. I’ve spent about $300 on iTunes this year alone. I’ve never been a member of Oink, though it sounds awesome.
picking up masterpieces off the street
I don’t want to get off on a rant on intellectual property law, but it was a really great idea–the art belongs to its creator and he has all these rights, it’s absolutely wonderful, way to go capitalism. (I love capitalism, it’s like my favorite thing since anarchy.)
Unfortunately, we no longer live in the Middle Ages. Works of art can be modified easily and it quickly becomes questionable who exactly the creator was. Moreover, the likelihood of how things are going to change in this new time is that organizations are going to sell packages of content, not individual products.
In other words, the illegal marketplace for music is going to change the legal marketplace for music for the better. Eventually (once these companies learn that more effective distribution methods will solve their cash flow problems) there will be no illegal marketplace, but that doesn’t allow us to ignore how important it is in bringing about change that will improve the lives of everyone.
If you can’t move beyond You Stole! I just feel sorry for you. How small your life must be. How little your mind must be capable of. Your children will know how hypocritical and pathetic you are, because they are huge fans of This Recording. Sorry about that. We already won the war, you just didn’t know it.
Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.
MORE RIDICULOUSNESS FOR THE DISCERNING READER
Then you have this absurdly silly post at Idolator, which blames music blogs for hyping bands. There is a wicked case of “I can’t think for myself” going around here.
If this stuff is true about the Jena 6, I have to strongly revisit some of my opinions about this case.
The most serious reason not to be a Republican. Or a Democrat, for that matter.
Scanning students’ fingers? Has it really come to this?
For more of this crap, that’s why Reason exists.
TO COME ON THIS RECORDING
Larry David and Laurie David fan fiction. That’s right, our trusty intern Barclay Memphis will take us there.