Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lim Jung-Yun/ How about No? / Thursday 56

How about No?


 Music is one of the most universally enjoyed manmade product ever. Regardless of age, gender, rich and poor, music is one of the few things that has the power to link total strangers or even enemies together. Considering this, it is shocking how little respect the purchase of music is treated with. People shamelessly downloading music illegally through the internet literally exists by millions. What these people choose to ignore is that such actions are stealing and that their thoughtless acts endanger the direct livelihood of those in the music industry.

 Once upon a time, there was a time where the concept of intellectual property was but a newly budding idea. Even till the very end of the 20th century, the notion of protecting ideas was a very unreal and foreign concept. However, the 20th century has been history for a long gone time. And so has the unfamiliarity of the concept of intellectual property. Students learn the dangers of plagiarism, the importance of respecting ideas of others from a very young age, some as early as from elementary school. University treats intellectual property with great reverence and a lot of schools have mandatory classes teaching students about plagiarism and protecting intellectual property. It is no longer possible to justify downloading watered down quality albums of Lorde by saying "What's the big deal?" People who sneakily download music via the Internet are making a deliberate educated choice to commit a crime, theft to be precise.

 Besides the fact that people stealing music from the Internet are making informed choices to steal music, there is the problem that well, these people are stealing. Even a single song takes time, money and teeth grinding effort to be completed. A whole album requires the same thing with more intensity. With the few exception of world pop stars and glamorous rock bands, the majority of those involved in the music industry are vastly underpaid. If the album turns out to be a success, then they have a chance to reap what they have sown. But, that would be hard to do with people downloading their hard work without paying a dime. People illegally downloading music are basically robbing people in the music industry without even having to threaten them with a blunt dagger knife.

 Yes, buying music is a hassle. Having to pay ten-something bucks for a CD with less than 12 tracks when it is possible to download the same thing on the Interne for free is irritating. Then again, how about No? No, it is not irritating to pay an adequate amount of money to the people who spent a lot of time and passion for their hard work. Just because downloading it for free on the World Wide Web is possible, it does not mean that it should be done no matter how much one's inner consciousness wants to take the criminal road. 

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