So why are we still utilizing services like Limewire and Morpheus? Because we feel entitled to. We want to take the music with us in our cars, on our iPods, and throughout every step of our lives without being confined to the chairs in front of our computers. But that's not fair. It's not fair to the artists either on major labels, who yes, have had many of their expenses taken care of, but will have to recomp the label for them once the money starts coming in, or on indie labels and self-releases, where they truly have put up their own hard earned money to do what they love and take the music as far as they can, to our own ears.
We like to say that technology has created so many opportunities for artists that would have never had them before, and in some cases, it's true. Studios are relatively cheaper to create and easier to use than ever before. With the advent of Myspace and Youtube, it has become easier to communicate with people around the world, to network, to be noticed. But with all of that has come a much easier, and sadly, socially acceptable way to take music without compensating the people who created it. We all make excuses: I'm a poor college student, I would have never actually spent money on this particular album so picking it up for free isn't that big of a deal, I just want to know if I like it before I spend money on it... but the truth is, those excuses are baseless.
You know? Someday, I hope to make money in this industry. There is nothing I love more than popular music. I love to sing it, play it, write it, and I'm learning to love the business side of all of it too. And how pretentious would it make me to expect to get the music I listen to for free and still expect others to pay me for mine?
Money has been tight for me lately, and I have had to add many, many albums to my wishlist rather than running right out to buy them like I'm used to doing. It's honestly painful, but I absolutely can't fathom stealing music anymore. It doesn't feel right to me.
It shouldn't feel right to you either.