Ever since I was a kid I have been exposed to file sharing. I remember the good ol’ days of LimeWire, Bearshare, and the infamous Napster. Back then you could only download a song at a time and you had to risk giving your computer an STD. But today we have reached a whole new level of file sharing. Today we have bit torrents and hundreds of sites where we can connect with other people who are willing to share their files. BUT WAIT THAT’S ILLEGAL.
File sharing has been around for quite sometime now and we have seen people get punished for it. But why? When we think about file sharing? We think about people stealing from artists. When we download music for free we call it stealing but when we barrow a CD from a friend and rip it to our computer isn’t it just the same? We are copying the artists music to our device without paying the artist. I feel that this is just the same as downloading files from people all over the world. Granted it is on a larger scale and more convenient but to me it is no different. But I do think that there can be limits. Things such as software and apps are far more expensive than a song or a CD. For me, downloading software is a bit more of an issue since it is more of a product that can be used rather than art that has been created to be enjoyed. Now while this might seem hypocritical I, as an artist, think that art should be free with the option of paying. So while I could pay to buy the CD or even vinyl and get a quality version, I could download for free and get a lesser quality until I am able to get the better version when I can afford it. One could make the argument that there is always streaming but I personally like to be able to take my music with me and not have to eat up my data to stream a lower quality when I can have something slightly better. While I think that streaming streaming apps such as Pandora and Spotify are great for discovering music I would prefer to own the music.
In the end, I think that file sharing is okay if you intend to buy the real thing at some point or another. Which here we can see that that is the case and I know many people who are the very same way. We just enjoy the convenience of getting our hands on what we want until we can pay to support. But if you’re the squeamish type there are plenty of streaming sites and apps offered for those who don’t wish to collect but merely to enjoy for a compromise.