The lowdown on downloading in 2011

I was in the mall the other day and I noticed something hilarious. I was walking by HMV, and I saw that they still have those huge anti-theft pillars at the doors. As if anyone who has made the decision to steal movies or music is actually going to go down to HMV to do it.

It’s not that stealing by downloading is any less of a crime than doing it at the mall - it’s just that it’s so much fucking easier.

You don’t have to put on pants, get in your car, drive to the mall, shove a bunch of CDs in your gotch and get chased out of the mall by out-of-shape security guards. You just have to sit down in front of your computer and wiggle your fingers a little.

I think Metallica and all those other whiny bands who can’t stop crying about kids wanting to listen to their music for free are missing something very important: if you want kids to stop stealing your music online, you have to make it easier for them to steal at the mall.

It’s not that stealing by downloading is any less of a crime than doing it at the mall - it’s just that it’s so much fucking easier

First they need to get rid of those theft deterrent monoliths at each side of the entrance.

Next, they should turn the music way up and the lights way down in all the stores.

Finally, they should replace all employees with broomsticks with wigs.

After just those three simple steps, Internet downloading would go way down, maybe by as much as three to five per cent.

If musicians really wanted to stop illegal downloading, there actually is a simple step they could take to eliminate it completely.

They could make illegal downloading impossible by simply making it legal to download music for free.

Think about it: would this really be a bad thing? Imagine all those horrible artists who are making pop music right now, and who are clearly doing it for the money. Imagine if all of them suddenly stopped.

Imagine if people just started making music because they liked to make music. Now if that doesn’t make you want to go out and steal as much music off the Internet as your little hard drive will hold, then I don’t know what will.

If people wanted to make money from playing music, they still could: by getting off their asses and playing concerts. You can’t really download a live concert experience, so that’s still safe.

But without money from record sales (most of which actually goes to record companies), there wouldn’t be fabricated bands that sing through Auto-Tune and dance around pretending to play instruments, and who spend more effort looking good than sounding good.

Maybe then the term “pop music” would stand for something completely different: music that is popular because it’s good, and not music people think is good because it’s popular.

J.Williamez does not mind if you download his albums. In fact, he fucking encourages it.

Published in Volume 66, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 9, 2011)

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