Stealin' When You Shoulda Been Payin'
Person to person file sharing (p2p) patrons out there need to know that you are flat out STEALING. And it’s not just "information" on a file, it is the artist’s work, and in some cases, their livelihood.
This thievery has nothing to do with "freedom of speech". That file you download and copy is someone’s intellectual property that they created, spent thousands of dollars to produce and, more often than not, thousands more to market.
The artist is the supplier and the music is the product, not the file. Increasingly the artist and the distributor are the same, so if you up-load or down-load, you are not stealing from some faceless corporation, you are stealing from a musician who very likely maxed out his or her credit trying to maintain control of their product.
The artist or the company that contracts them pays to put the original creation into a format that can be distributed. Do you have any idea what a good producer is worth? How much they charge? How much mastering costs? Website SEO and Marketing costs?
And then you steal it. You don’t buy a CD before burning 20 copies for your friends (that’s a crime too), you just download the file and burn.
Music is intellectual property, and the recording industry is doing what they have to do in order to maintain protection of their copyrights. If they don't protect their rights to own intellectual property they lose the opportunity to both control dissemination and any possible chance to make a living from their work. That cuts the chances of the artist having the freedom to create more art.
So, here's hoping that the artist you steal from hunts you down and gives you an at-least-symbolic boot to the head.