There’s an advert doing the rounds at the moment, “He’s a knock-off Nigel…” goes the refrain. It’s a rubbish advert and a waste of money, but the sentiment is admirable.
You write a song and record it, you mix it and master it*, you release it. You sell it to people. Yes, you started it because it was your passion, but now it’s also your livelihood.
But, someone copies it onto a CDR and sells it cheap, or puts on their website to download for free. The artist complains and they’re seen as money grabbing bastards, “Where’s the harm, they’re got enough money already…”. Well, it’s exactly the same as breaking into a tradesman’s van and stealing his tools. That’s the harm.
The point here is that someone creative has made something and some talentless arsehole is making money off it. That’s just plain wrong. The ownership of any such item is not compulsory, you don’t have to have that new movie on DVD or play that game without the manual. The police will not come round and drag you away in the night if your media library doesn’t represent the correct quota of recent releases.
Talent should be recognised, appreciated and rewarded. It’s a shame that it’s seen as a commodity with the same value as anything that clunks and clinks in a Spar bag on the way home.
*Substitute, play, film, programme, game, book, invention here. It’s all the same.