Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pirates Vs. Fans

I had quite a response to my last few Anti-Pirate Posts and Press Releases. Many people have a hard time making the distinction between "sharing" and "stealing" digitally available content. In a nutshell Share = Fans. Steal = Pirates. Let me clarify my views on this.

I make art because I have no choice. I have since I was a little kid and will until I die. Money comes and goes. Sometimes I get paid for my art, sometimes I do not. I still create- that is my constant...that is my existence. I am probably best known as a singer songwriter but started flirting with the visual arts back in the mid-nineties to enhance my bands live shows. This led me to music video, short film, television production and finally feature film.

When I started playing seriously in bands back in the 1980's, MP3s did not exist. If you wanted a recording of your favorite band you would go to the record store and buy their music on Vinyl, 8-Track or Cassette. Many people would buy Vinyl and make mix cassettes for their friends. I considered this (and still do) sharing and not stealing. In the modern world, I feel that if someone buys my CD or DVD and burns a few copies for friends or family, or includes a few of my songs on a mixed CD, that is sharing. In fact I am flattered that they would take their time and deem my work worthy enough to do so. However- a line get crossed when that same person burns multiple copies of my music or film to sell or trade for their own personal gain. That is stealing my hard work and puts them in the "You Suck" category of my book.

Loaning DVD's to friends, showing films in groups or small festivals or events, that is all healthy sharing. The same goes for DJ'ing music at a club or event. That is sharing. Sharing is good. Sharing helps the arts grow and thrive.

Now the Peer To Peer sites are a different matter all together. They encourage people to pirate and to steal. Why pay for something you can easily get for free and without serious consequence. Can you blame people for pirating? Yes. It is a matter of ethics. You know that shite your Momma tried telling you about. Do unto others... remember? If pirates and potential pirates knew how much damage they are doing to the arts and artists by stealing their art- I think many would ween themselves of the practice. Some, of course, would not. These are the "entitled ones" who feel that they should be given everything they want for free, simply because they suck air and have a pulse. They avoid work, slack when they can't get out of it and dream of being famous for dong absolutely nothing (i.e. on their own Reality TV Show). They consume rather than create. They observe rather than live. Most contribute absolutely nothing to this world but their carbon footprint, most recent high game scores and nasty comments on other peoples blogs and You Tube pages. They are under everyone's radar and pirate media because it is makes them feel bad ass, like when they jerk off in the bathroom stalls at work on company time. Just don't get caught my friend, you probably won't get fired but you will be made fun of for the next few years.

This is the pirate and he feels that stealing a few songs or movies is f'n cool because...well hell, he got the latest _________ before anyone else did, got it for free and uploaded it for the bragging rights to all his other pirate buddies. Art in all forms is a corporate construct, meant for his personal enjoyment. Artists aren't real people, they are like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Make-believe, isn't that where all that creative shite comes from anyway?

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