To torrent or not to torrent

Stop using torrents or…or..or the piggie gets it

I remember when a friend of mine told me about this thing called torrents. He told me, essentially, that I could download just about anything for free, including movies and music.

“Dude, you can get anything,” he said, smiling broadly.

I figured this had to be too good to be true, but free means free, which means I pretty much felt obligated to try it out. Turns out it wasn’t too good to be true. I felt like Christmas had come early. I confess the word ‘free’ pretty much hijacked any sense of remorse I was later told I should probably feel. Remorse because, well, ‘free’ music means that the musicians who created that music aren’t getting paid. And as a musician myself who enjoys getting paid for what I do whenever and wherever I can, this began to bother me somewhat.

I say ‘somewhat’ because I also heard the other side of the argument which I also felt had quite a bit of credibility, namely that the record companies have always screwed over the artists and have never paid them hardly a dime anyway, so for the record companies to come out now trying to act like they are standing up for the rights of artists who are being screwed over by the fans?  Yeah, well. That’s kinda like the wolf telling the sheep that it’s the bunny rabbits who are the real threat. Remember when Prince had “slave” written on his face? Remember what that was about?And wasn’t it the record companies who were behind those absurdly inflated prices we used to have to pay for CDs? So don’t they kind of owe us? From RT.com

But RT contributor Afshin Rattansi argues that the way corporate music works as a whole is far more“sinister” than anything being done by Torrent and music file-sharing websites.

“As to the idea that the BPI is trying to protect the public and the artist and the variety of artists in terms of cultural diversity, that is absurd. After all, is YouTube, owned by Google, producing pirated music? Because there’s lots of music there that seems to just be uploaded by people and is obviously copyrighted. That’s because Universal-EMI, the big majors are doing deals with the big sites so they can lock up the power over music, signing up new bands, and a whole plethora of ideas and culture.”

But then I had to ask myself was I just allowing myself to dance along this train of thought because it let me off the hook for all that really great free stuff? Probably so. And I’m not the best one to judge my own actions because, well, there’s a conflict of interest there and I’m always gonna side with myself. Still when I saw this article about how the UK is really starting to crack down hard on torrents and file sharing, I did gulp a little bit.

Who’s that knocking at the door?

I want to feel guilty, but I’m not quite there yet. Here’s another reason why.

 

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About the author
kaoblues
Writer and musician.

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