Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Downloader's Guilt Assuaged!

PiracyPlopping across the Internet this week, I came across this article about Canadian musicians pressing the federal government to update its copyright laws:
"The current Copyright Act ... damages the industry, the economy and our artists' careers," said [Canadian Recording Industry Association president] Graham Henderson, noting even the Supreme Court of Canada has recommended the federal government update copyright law.

"Downloading, file-swapping, peer-to-peer networks -- these are all euphemisms for piracy, pure and simple. It is devastating to the Canadian music industry."
After reading articles like this, I occasionally get pangs of Downloader's Guilt. So, in this case, the next time I passed HMV I stopped in an picked up a couple of albums that I have been listening to in mp3 format for the past few months: The Arcade Fire -- Funeral and Joanna Newsom -- The Milk-eyed Mender.

This, alas, did not relieve my mental distress. Now I have Buyer's Rage. Over $50 for just two albums? Rifriggindonkulous!Sharing

(The HMV cashier, by the by, a person whose career is presumably in peril because of Internet piracy, laughed at me when I told her I had Downloader's Guilt. "Why?" she asked.)

Anyway, perhaps "file-swapping" and "file-sharing" are euphemisms, but "piracy" is a worse dysphemism. Maybe Blue Rodeo is indeed hurt by downloading, but not in the "Arrrr! I'm goina cut owt yer blood-pumper 'n' steal yer booty!" sort of way. And other musicians owe their success to downloading, including the ones who got but a tiny slice of my $50 since they both have been pushed into renown by several high-profile mp3 blogs...

I realise this is a really stale, crusty debate. But, really, how are you ever going to get people to spend over $50 for two albums again? And is there a way to discuss the issue without -phemism? The entire Internet is a -phemism.

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