This is from an article in the Globe and Mail, and the writer gets it spot on. Music, books, etc. have value, and every time we steal - yes, steal - a product, we are effectively saying we don't value it, while at the same time valuing it. That is, we're being hypocritical lying thieves. (I'm speaking to myself here as much as anyone!) Here's the takeaway:
"You're thinking, 'Nobody asked writers to write. Don't they know a
nice degree in commerce will serve them better in the long run? Nobody
asked Iggy to roll around on stage in broken glass. He could have had a
nice job as an actuary, although he would have had to keep his pants
But in truth, we do ask: Every time we go to a library or
shop, we want it to be full of new books, and when we search various
channels (legal and illegal) for new music and movies, we expect to find
them. Someone has to produce this content – this art – and sadly, the
shoemakers' elves are all busy stitching elsewhere. And after it's been
produced, someone has to buy it. Or not buy it, as is more likely the
It comes down to a question of value: Do we value artists'
effort? The boring years spent in the studio or rehearsal hall, the
torched drafts – Mr. Flanagan burned five early versions of his novel
before he got it right... I'm glad Iggy Pop and Mr.
Flanagan have brought the issue of artists' earnings out into the open,
because it's too often avoided as embarrassing or demeaning or
irrelevant to the process. In fact, it's crucial.
As author and
cartoonist Tim Kreider wrote in a recent essay
about not getting paid for his work, 'money is also how our culture
defines value, and being told that what you do is of no ($0.00) value to
the society you live in is, frankly, demoralizing'."