Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stealing Music: Don't Do It!

Yes, this is a rant. No, it is not about books. But it's about something else that is very near and dear to my heart: stealing/illegally downloading music. Especially from independent artists who depend on record sales to continue making the music we all love and adore.

Last night there was an epic Twitter argument brought about by one of my favorite musicians. He asked "why are people who illegally downloaded my album telling me they didn't pay for it?!" Some "fans" replied with really snotty remarks, pretty much along the lines of "well, you're rich and I'm not and only rich people can afford to buy music anymore." WTF? The reason this musician is so upset about illegal downloads of his new album is because he is, in fact, an independent artist. It took him 5 (FIVE!) years to get this solo album out, and he ended up leaving his major label and buying back his album, which cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money. Since then, he has invested all of his money, time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into releasing this album as an independent artist. And now people are stealing it. It's basically like walking into a record store and stealing a CD from off of a shelf. The same thing people! Stealing is stealing.

What people don't realize or just don't think about is this: if you illegally download an indie artist's music (or god forbid put an indie artist's album up on the internet for people to freely download! [shame on you!]), you are taking away a profit that they really, really need! If these indie artists you love so much don't have money coming in from the albums they worked so hard to make for you, they will not have the means to keep creating music or releasing albums or touring! Doesn't anyone understand?!

Take a few minutes to think about it. Your favorite musician just sinking into obscurity because he/she can no longer afford to bring you the music that you rely on to get you through both the good and bad days. Not at all a pretty future, now is it??

I never illegally download music, not even bigger acts that always have radio airplay. With the music industry falling apart like it is, even bigger names may start needing album sales to keep doing what they love. But I do ask this: if you are going to illegally download/share music, PLEASE don't do it from independent artists! Even if this means checking out musicians' websites to see if they are indie or not, I beg you to do something so that we can keep listening to the music we love.

And don't tell me you can't afford it. If you want a CD bad enough, you'll find a way to get it legally. Get a job. Do some odd jobs for a neighbor. Or do what I did all through middle school and high school. Keep a list of all the CDs you want throughout the year and then give it to your parents/grandparents/friends/relatives when Christmas or your birthday comes around and have them get the CDs for you. Yeah, you'll have to wait. But life's not fair so suck it up. You'll feel prouder about yourself and love listening to the music more when you know it got to you in a legal manner and that you are really and truly supporting what you love.

Join me in the pledge to no longer steal music from the artists who need album sales to make a living. Start buying your favorite indie albums!


  1. Downloading illegal music is a serious offence and they DO punnish people for doing it. I know someone who got caught and it cost him A LOT of $$$. The acusation that music is too expensive is a cop-out. You can buy music online now, per song or album, for SUPER cheap. We just got two new indie band albums for $4 and $5. Even if we burn it to a cd it's still much cheaper than buying an album off the shelf. Popular artists' albums are also cheaper online. With these kinds of prices, there's no justification, even remotely, to steal someone's artistic work.

  2. Very well said! There is absolutely no reason to not buy the music. It's so cheap, just like you said. Thanks for the support :)

  3. Good post, and I agree with you. The Intense Whisper has some "Say No to Piracy" blog buttons available on her site.

  4. Thanks Jennifer for the link! I'll definitely check that out :)