Lori Koonce wrote:Steve
Not to muddy the waters any but a question. I am the proud owner of not a few CDs made for me by people who know my finincir situation. Where do you stand on that? Part of me says that someone paid for the original, so why should I feel torn up over it. But, a small part of me feels as if I shouldn't have accepted them because of the issue under discussion.
Valid question. I look at it like this: the person who bought the CD (or movie or whatever) is entitled to make copies for themselves to use in a car, or at an office, or something like that. I can't criticize you or your friend because I understand the financial situation, but it did infringe upon the artists' rights and income for that friend -- however well-meaning -- to make you a free copy. Someone DID buy the original, and they are able to use it and enjoy it. They didn't buy two copies, so yours isn't covered by the monies they spent.
A have a very good friend here in LA who systematically checked out hundreds of CDs from the local library to make his own collection. He holds to the same perspective you do. The library paid for it, right? Except, let's assume he ripped copies of only a hundred albums. Assuming $10 each, which is low, he stole more than a thousand dollars worth of material. He pointed out that much of the classical music is in the public domain. True. But the versions he recorded are not. Organizations such as the Boston Pops forked out tens of thousands of dollars to record some of those CDs. The Pops is hardly big business, and they are hardly swimming in cash.
I can't and won't say you should not have accepted them. Your friend was trying to do you a favor by breaking the law and ripping you copies of music, no matter how small an infraction they might consider it. What I *can* say is that the artists who recorded those CDs are the losers in the transaction. They, or their backers, spent hard money to create the music on the CDs. Let's assume a thousand other well-meaning friends across the country rip one copy each for someone who cannot afford it. That's ten thousand dollars per CD.
If they copied 20 CDs on average, that's $200,000 that did not help pay for the production of the CDs in question.
That's the equation. Each one feels like they didn't do a whole lot of damage, but cumulatively it's devastating.
I'm not saying you need to feel the way I do about it, but I do insist that -- as Harlan says -- you have an informed opinion as to the damage even a little infraction can do if multiplied by thousands of well-meaning friends. And perhaps, as with my friend who ripped off the library, it helps if I were to say "how would you feel if one of those CDs was one of Cris' ?" Or "one of Harlan's books", or....
That's the perspective from which I derive annoyance that anyone feels it's not an issue, or simply overblown.
(And that doesn't include the deliberate asshats who deliberately post files so that thousands of people can deliberately take product for free.)