The Real Danger of Copying Music (It’s Not What You Think)

From Wired:

When copying is easy, there is almost no intrinsic scarcity, and therefore market value collapses. There’s an endless debate about whether file sharing is “stealing.” It’s an argument I’d like to avoid, since I don’t really care to have a moral position on a software function. Copying in the abstract is vapid and neutral.

To get ahead of the argument a little, my position is that we eventually shouldn’t “pirate” files, but it’s premature to condemn people who do it today. It would be unfair to demand that people cease sharing / pirating files when those same people are not paid for their participation in very lucrative network schemes. Ordinary people are relentlessly spied on, and not compensated for information taken from them.

While I would like to see everyone eventually pay for music and the like, I would not ask for it until there’s reciprocity.

What matters most is whether we are contributing to a system that will be good for us all in the long term.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Wired