Today in the comments of an article about illegal downloading in the free newspaper I found the best mataphore that explains what’s wrong with current entertainment industry. I just had to translate it for you:

Let’s say you’re an artist. You paint beautiful abstract artworks that are respected by many and are eventually displayed in a gallery.Woops, turns out the gallery is a very profit-driven organisation. They sell posters of your artwork for ridiculously high prices and most people just decide to buy them because it’s all they can get.

But there are a few sneaky visitors who stand in front of the artwork, take a picture and then print them out at home on high quality photo paper, completely for free. How can they do such a thing?! The gallery should have posted guards next to your artwork, pity.

But the gallery is getting angry at the fact the sales of their posters is dropping, so they whine through organisations that say they are protecting your rights, that they want these protesting ‘thieves’ to pay for their posters. The consequence is that the police kicks in doors and rips the illegal posters down, fines the ‘thieves’ and sees to it the gallery profits once again.

Does that sound like justice? The artists produce, they don’t distribute. That’s the record company’s task.

I too get frustrated anyone pulls the ‘theft’ argument. As a musician, I really don’t see why I should let people pay to copy files from me or even if they copy it from their mates. They can throw a tip in my hat (or buy me drink) or pay me to put it on a disc for them as a service.

Music is something abstract in the air, cd’s are a physical product. And as far as I’m concerned copyright laws should be mainly concerned with preventing other people from pretending they made the music you made or music being abused against the specific wishes of the creator (for instance if neo-nazi’s decide to use your music as a theme song). And even then, there’s room for debate. Just see my posts on the origin of samples. As long as no one else is making money off your work, who cares?

But let’s face it, right now copyright laws are being used not to protect the rights of the creator, but the person selling it. And they are trying to argue with people who have no financial gain themselves by spreading the music. They’re spreading the love.

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