Monday, August 15, 2005

"I've got/Some-something that you like/You've got . . . "

Jaquandor dittoes the message of a post to a Film Score Monthly thread about how file sharing is not just wrong, but misnamed. Swapping files is stealing, plain and simple, goes the message. Not sharing. Well, yes. And no.

As a teenager I used to go to my local library and take out LPs of music I was interested in. I'd take them home, put the record on the turntable, and copy the music to a tape. I'd then return the LP to the library. As a teenager I'd also make a copy of a CD I liked and give the tape to a friend. I'd tape a song offof the radio so that I could listen to it again and again. Is this different than being able to go online and download an artist's entire catalog? Of course. But the notion that sharing music can be good, and that it's not stealing, is one I find it hard to disabuse myself of. I've never downloaded albums off of the internet without paying for them, aside from a few live bootleg things. But I have ripped CDs that I borrowed from the library so that I could listen to them after I had to return them. I have borrowed CDs from friends and ripped them. Is that stealing? Maybe it is. But I think there are more grays here than Jaquandor, or the poster, is acknowledging.

Until Whenever


Jaquandor said...

Making copies of library records, or even your own CDs for your friends, isn't what I'm talking about. It's things like KaZaA or Napster or the like, where you make files available to everyone in the world. To equate the two under the same term, "sharing", doesn't work for me. Making music available for free isn't sharing. It's distribution.

Are there "gray areas"? Sure. But I don't think the gray areas quite skew that wildly.

Tosy And Cosh said...

I agree that making files available to everyone in the world is an order of difference away from making a copy of a CD from your friend. But they are both at heart the same thing--even if one has an almost infinitely larger scope. So the question remains, what makes one not stealing and the other stealing?