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Taken from addicted ( for those not in the know)

Neil has been recruited for the NZ anti piracy campaign 'Burn and be Burned', promoting the legalities of pirating CDs.

There are links to a couple of articles on the site, you should check it out.

The main reason I post this here is because...I don't know, this sort of rankles me. I understand that artists need to make money from their work, that we could argue the legality and morality of burning cds back and forth all day but...I always got the impression that Neil Finn was very much a "all about the music" kind of guy...that as long as it was heard and appreciated, the money didn't matter so much.

I'm not being naive, like I said, I understand that artists need to put food on the table, so to speak, but...anyways, discuss!
Original Post
Well I don't even consider it a big issue. Who needs to buy expensive, illegal bootlegs when Peter Green and the FOTE club are always releasing great quality live CD's of Crowded House, Split Enz, Finn Bros and Neil Finn which are authorised by both the artists and the labels.

Then there are the simply fantastic official live albums. The Neil Finn and friends album and the Tim Finn-Bic Runga-Dave Dobbyn - Together In Concert Live are superb.

Plus there are DVD's for both of those on the way too.

Come on, Old Neil treats us pretty good on the whole. How many other artists do you know who release a new solo album, a soundtrack album and an allstar live album all within under a year?
It's called supply and demand. The harder it is to get a hold of something, the more likely it will be pirated (alcohol, tobacco, etc.). This is especially true of music that may be hard to come by (Like Neil Finn albums in the States).

I can't agree with pirating CDs and burning 'em off for all your friends, because it DOES infringe on an artist's rights. If you painted a picture and suddenly discovered an advertising company was using it to sell cars, and posters were being sold to college students sho wanted to hang it in their dorm room, and Neil decided he wanted to use it on his next album cover. . .well, don't you think YOU should have a say in all this? Precisely.

It IS all about the music. But it's all about personal rights, too. I've downloaded lots of songs, but I haven't burned them onto CD. They're for my personal use, and one of these days, I'll buy the CD(s) because I had a chance to hear what they sounded like. If I hadn't downloaded them, I would never have known they existed! So there has to be a balance between good, healthy promotion of an artist and his/her material, and outright theft.
I think the key difference here is between burning CD copies of commercially available material and stuff you can't buy. I don't think Neil has much of a problem with people making CDs of his radio appearances (for example) because he isn't losing out on royalties - copying something you can't buy doesn't affect anyone. Neil's (and my) problem is with someone buying an album and copying it for his/her mates - if you want the record, go buy it!

Things that have been released but deleted (ie, you cannot buy it in the shops anymore) are a grey area. The artist gets no royalties from any subsequent sales, only the first time so, in theory this stuff should also be fair game, but this could affect sales of future compilations etc.

All told, I think that anything that isn't ever going to be issued officially (like radio shows) should be fair game, but anything official should be bought legitimately, not copied. So I kinda side with Neil (I think).
I see CDs as a complete piece of art, complete with booklet and lyrics and music and just everything that belongs to it... I rather pay some more to have it than making a copy that looks rubbish... For me a burned CD just doesn't feel good! And if it's by an artist like Neil who I admire a lot, this complete piece of art if even much more worth to me, so I'd never copy it. I don't have the money for some of the latest CDs that came out in the past few weeks and people offered to copy me Rain soundtrack and live album but I said "NO thank you" - then I rather live without until I have the money to get it!"


Cds are getting more and more expensive over here - ESPECIALLY Neil's stuff... That's really a pity!

Originally posted by enzenwine:
[qb]I can't agree with pirating CDs and burning 'em off for all your friends, because it DOES infringe on an artist's rights. [/qb]

- Couldn't agree more... but what if you burned a CD for a friend & they liked it so much that they went out & bought the bands complete catalogue...?

[qb]I've downloaded lots of songs, but I haven't burned them onto CD.
- Well how is downloading the mp3s & listening to them on your PC much different than downloading the mp3s & burning them onto CDs & listening to them your CD player?

I'd also like to add that I *occasionally* download songs off the net, but it's usually only the 1 song from the artist, It's not like I download full albums.

But where CH/Neil is concerned, so far, I've downloaded about 50 songs (Yes, I know what you're thinking!) except ALL them are ones you just can't buy, for example the acoustic versions of locked out, don't dream, bbhs, distant sun, fall @ ur feet, etc. & all those cool live versions that are impossible to get hold of elsewhere, if you know what I mean.
Is there anyone here who thinks that's inappropriate?
What seems to have been forgotten in this discussion is that this is a New Zealand campaign. With fewer than 4 million people in the country, non-international NZ artists get few enough sales of their CDs as it is without having people rip them off by selling CDR's out of their car boot on a Saturday morning.

Home CD-R burning has become huge here within the last year or so. Albums that reach the top 10 in the first week of release have a habit of disappearing the next week. Even if it's Destiny's Child, who might not notice a wee drop in income due to NZ pirating, it means less money for the local record company, which means less investment money for local artists.

The same goes for Neil's CDs through EMI. The more sales he makes, the more dosh there is available for nurturing other artists.

Everybody makes the odd copy of something on some format at some point... but it's getting out of hand. This local campaign exists to remind NZ music listeners that our own musicians deserve a little respect, and a right to earn a living. Smiler

Music piracy is a relatively new issue, but it's really just a new form of an old crime: STEALING!! there are a million ways to justify it: blame the record companies for charging too much, blame limited availability, blame your empty wallet, but whatever you do it's still STEALING, and it's just not right.

>>Couldn't agree more... but what if you burned a CD for a friend & they liked it so much that they went out & bought the bands complete catalogue...?<<

5ecret_God, by that logic couldn't I go steal a $2500 Les Paul guitar, give it to a friend, and then say as they arrest me, "Wait, there's a slight chance he might really take to the guitar and go buy more of them!!"

I do have a certain amount of live shows and rare tracks that just aren't available commercially, and that's the only leeway that should be allowed on the issue, IMO. I won't pretend to have never burned a CD but I don't feel right about it.
Originally posted by Tommy J:
[qb]5ecret_God, by that logic couldn't I go steal a $2500 Les Paul guitar, give it to a friend, and then say as they arrest me, "Wait, there's a slight chance he might really take to the guitar and go buy more of them!!"[/qb]

Actually, I think it's more like lending someone your guitar and giving him the chance to test drive it. Remember that this music feels freely available to us, even though we each impose different moral limitations on ourselves. We didn't have to hack any websites to find music to download. We didn't have to break into stores to have this music. While some may see the act of having this music criminal, we each didn't have to perpetrate a criminal act to get to it. So to me, it's being lent to me, and sometimes I keep it, sometimes I don't, and sometimes I go out and buy my own.

It's the same as swapping tapes in the 1980's, which I did, and like that, this has lead me to buy more music. I downloaded nearly 200 songs by Sparks off one site, and yesterday got my first shipment of 3 of their CDs... only 17 more to go! Smiler They're going to make money off me because I heard their music, and I fell completely in love. Someone sent me a tape of someone she likes, and that artist won't make any money off me because I didn't like the music. I sent her a mix CD, and maybe those artists will sell records and maybe not, but I hope so!

I never see this as black and white since I feel like people who share music are either creating new fans, which artists want, or they are not creating new fans. I've downloaded stuff that I threw away and didn't share, so was that still morally wrong? Some would say so, and some not, but I don't care since it felt fine to me. Smiler You have to do what feels best to you, and that's the bottom line. My personal belief is that the more these artists and entities push against piracy, the more they will find what they don't want. It's natural law, dude. Smiler

I don't think we want to get too heated up on this here. This is one of those issues that comes down to an individual person's morals and preferences. And those aren't worth arguing, especially among frenz. Smiler

Well,I'm not going to question anyone's morals...or try and fuel an argument,but I feel I need to put in my views as a Finn/Enz fan living in the US.It's VERY difficult to obtain any original Cd recordings here..the only ones readily available where I live are Recurring Dream and maybe True Colours,and that's only in the bigger stores.I did manage to track down originals of all their studio Cd's,but as for the fan club releases and other various things,I'm sorry to say the ONLY way for us American fans to get our hands on them is via a burned copy.We get our fan club material months behind the Aussie/NZ fans,and by that time most of what's on offer is gone.I'm not sure just how much money it actually takes away from the artists..obviously it makes a dent,but to me it just seems like part of the deal.I don't download off the internet..maybe I feel a little better about giving something to other fans in trading or whatever.I'd love to have originals of all my copies,but it's just not feasible,unless I move to Australia or NZ.In the end it comes down to the music...we burn and download because we love the music,and want every little bit we can get our hands on.Okay,I'm done..I'll shut up now.

Brandi Smiler
Bsnifter..this is a pet peeve of mine. I'm in the US but everything is EASILY accessible, all you need to do is go online. I understand some people have a hangup over using a credit card online, but the fact remains, the cds are readily available from major retailers for those who have one. If you don't, perhaps a friend (or parent for younger fans) might let you use it in return for the cash.

I've noticed some people on here assume it will be expensive to "import" a CD from Australia or New Zealand--not true. I just got the new Neil & Friends Live @ St. James CD from NetCD (a NZ company) for around $17, and that's including shipping. It only took 6 days too. Any new CD will cost that much here in the states.

CDNow, a US-based company, has all the Crowded House albums except Together Alone, which NetCD or Amazon UK has...

Regarding the guitar analogy, the difference is, when you burn someone a CD, you don't ask for it back. You're giving them a commercially available product for free.

The fact that MP3's aren't tangible means people can't hold and feel what they're stealing, so somehow that makes it excusable.

I agree it's up to the individual to decide how they feel about stealing, but I don't agree that anyone can provide an argument that downloading MP3's or burning CD's is not essentially stealing.

Burning a friend a CD is just like walking out of a music store with a CD stuffed down your shorts.

Like I said, it's up to the individual if they're ok with that; I don't really care what people do. I just wish people would own up to the fact that it's stealing rather than giving all sorts of rationalizations.

Imagine an unregulated technology that allowed people to put anything, from TV's to guitars to trucks, in a magic box and create duplicate copies to give to your friends. Would you feel good about doing THAT? It's an exaggerated example but really no different from a CD burner.
I'm no Bible expert, but what's the saying about throwing stones?

Are you saying that you have never:

* traded tapes
* made a mix tape for someone
* downloaded an MP3
* burned an MP3 or music CD for someone else
* received a mix tape or CD with audio tracks or MP3s
* used a library

OR are you saying you have done at least one of these and it's stealing and wrong and you just want everyone to know you've stolen and done something wrong? Smiler

I say used the library because there, you are borrowing books for free. Now you probably won't buy that book, but you read it! Someone's going to lose money because you are not buying that book, right? And others can come and borrow that book too! AND you might tell someone the plot and ending!!! All of these must be stealing too. How do the publishing companies stay in business? :P

I don't ask for the CD back because it cost me 50 cents. But if I put it on a ZIP disk or removable hard drive or something that means lost money, I sure would want it back! But that's me.

As for what's stealing and what's not stealing, I think this is going to be subjective. If I see it as borrowing because I tend to play it and then dump it or go out and buy it, then to me it's borrowing. You will have a hard time convincing someone who is pumping money back into the CD sales world that I'm stealing music. Go tell the bands of whom I'm newly a fan and at whom I'm throwing money that I'm a criminal and never should have heard their music. Smiler

The bottom line to me still is that anything done out of fear usually gets what it fears many times over. The more we focus on and believe that artists will do poorly and record companies will suffer and so on, the more we create that. Everyone lived through cassette tapes and mini disc and other home recording technologies. We will live through this one too, and there is plenty of pie for anybody who is allowing of it. Anybody resisting and pushing against will probably find themselves on the poo end of the issue and somehow losing money. MP3s could easily be a win-win situation if people didn't act out of fear.

Just an opinion! Nobody need agree with me.

Tommy..yes,you can order studio releases on-line,and I have done so many times.However,I've yet to see any non studio ones..or fan club releases,such as Bent in Ghent or Spooky Vibrations.Or even Revolver or Neil Live at the Double Door.Subsequently I've had to get burned copies of those and quite a few others.And yes,I know they've been on ebay before...but I just can't afford to pay upwards of $100 for a Cd..which sometimes is a burned copy anyway.I guess my point is..I truly love the music and I'm glad to be able to enjoy it,original copy or not..because in the end it sounds the same.Close your eyes and listen...can you really tell the difference?


Yes, I've done most of those things, and I already alluded to that fact. But at least I don't pretend it's not wrong. I'd rather people said, "Yes, it's stealing and it's not right, but I do it anyway" instead of "No, it's different," and proceed to give illogical rationalizations.

The library thing isn't really the same at all. Libraries pay big blanket fees to ASCAP (much the same as what Napster is getting ready to do), which gets redistributed accordingly. So you're wrong there, the publishers are getting compensated. Smiler

It doesn't matter whether you're eventually going to buy the CD or throw it out--it's still stealing. If I walk out of a store with something I didn't pay for and then put it in the trash, I still stole it.

Stealing is not subjective except in the most extreme cases, like stealing food for your starving family or something. What we're talking about is obtaining a commercial product FOR FREE because you'd rather not pay for it. It doesn't matter if you're "testing" the music out, it still costs money, and you still didn't pay for it. There's just no way around that!!!

I agree that some bands may benefit from file trading, but it's THEIR decision whether they want their music floating around for free, don't make it for them.

>>You will have a hard time convincing someone who is pumping money back into the CD sales world that I'm stealing music. <<

Well, the US Supreme Court was pretty convinced when they shut down Napster. Legality and morality clearly don't always gel, but in this case they do.
Tommy, you seem kinda mad about it all. Is there any particular reason why this issue gets to you like it seems to? I tend to like to peel away layers to see if something else is really the issue, and the topic of discussion is just a disguise for something else.

You've made your point clear, I've made mine clear, though quoting me as saying "um" isn't terribly accurate. If you're reading me as stumbling over my words and unsure of what to say, you're assigning that characteristic to the incorrect person. I disagree with you, and I don't find your statements convincing enough to change my opinion. I'm sure the same is true for what I've posted not swaying you, which is fine as I don't want to sway you.

I'm very comfortable with my own feelings, beliefs, and preferences, and I'm just not the sort to buckle at the sight of a wagging finger or change because someone else is sure I'm completely wrong and rationalising. Smiler If you are sure that I'm stealing, then you can label me as stealing. And if you decide I've stolen for what you decide is a good reason, then you can label me as not stealing. If you are sure I'm very tall, then you can label me as very tall. And if you are sure that I have brown hair, then you can label me as having brown hair. What anybody thinks of me has nothing to do with what I think of me. If judging me and assigning me characteristics or a value or lack of value feels good, then you should do it as much as you can. And by you, I don't just mean Tommy. I mean anybody and everybody.

Meanwhile, we can enjoy that we are different and unique and can express that here in a forum of mutual respect. I appreciate everybody's points of view though I currently only agree with ones that sound like mine. Smiler

You still never explained why downloading a song you didn't pay for or burning a CD you didn't pay for are morally right!

I'm not trying to "buckle" anyone, you just keep avoiding my viewpoint by creating more justifications rather than addressing what I'm saying. If I seem frustrated it's because you're not really debating, just repeating what you've already said. I guess you're right about one thing though, if you're comfortable with what you're doing and refuse to entertain the notion that it might not be completely right, I can't change that.

For the record it really annoys me how moderators always stifle interesting conversations on this board because they're not "on topic." In real life discussions, the topic changes every few minutes or so; why should it be any different on the internet?
Good evening!

Thing 1: This conversation was not stifled. Posts have not been removed, nobody was censored as far I know, and the topic is not closed. However, I agree that it was no longer about Neil Finn, and shouldn't sit in his forum when it's just not about him anymore! If you want to debate that, please take that up with Silke privately since she is the moderator, and anything else we have to say about her action doesn't need to be aired here (in my opinion).

Thing 2: I don't have to satisfy you with explanations, and if you really think about it, I probably can't. Especially in a place of frustration or negative emotion, you are probably not going to connect to what I say or how I believe. Also, I don't like to debate because I think each person has a right to his or her own opinions, and I respect all opinions and points of view. I have no interest in making anybody see things the way I do or think how I do. So I don't debate because I don't see the purpose. I'd rather be supportive and friendly than argumentative or imposing, not that I'm saying you're doing those.

Thing 3: Morals are subjective, and I think thing 3 is my strongest. Smiler What is right for me might be wrong for you, and what is wrong for you sometimes is right for you other times. They bend and they are different among people. You seem to bend too. You've done what you say is morally wrong and illegal in stealing, yet you say that maybe stealing food for a starving family isn't stealing. So you have your own hierarchy of what is right and when wrong things are right or at least OK.

The law is a separate issue. Some things that many people find immoral are legal and some things that many people find moral and a great idea are completely illegal. The same act is legal sometimes and not legal other times, or legal in some places and illegal in other places. Something that's illegal years later becomes legal and vice versa. So which or who is right? I say everybody. I believe that you should always choose and feel and think what feels best to you, and your truth is always right for you.

If the idea that millions of people are performing illegal acts by stealing music feels best, then you should think that. If the idea that millions of people are test driving music, and thousands of CDs will be sold and new fans will be created who pump money back into the "machine" feels better, then you should think that. Or pick another one since the options are endless. You should create and stick by whatever feels good. If your belief brings you fears, frustration, confusion, guilt, anxiety, or some other negative emotion, why not swap it for one that feels good? I always strongly recommend feeling good about yourself and your world whenever you can!

I can't tell you which belief is right for you, nor will I say that the one you've chosen for yourself is bad and wrong. It's right for you. In this case, it's not right for me, but it doesn't have to be. I entertain notions, but in this case, I happen to have settled on notions that fit me better than your notions do. So am I refusing to think that this may not be completely right? Yes! Because in my world, everything is always completely right because the person doing it thought it was right, and who am I to pass judgment. So what I do is completely right for me because I am happy with it. I don't have to agree with you, and I gain nothing in dishonouring myself by changing how I believe because you seem to want me to do that. I'm not known for obedience. Smiler

Ta da! Smiler



One thing I wanted to bring up is why would Neil want to be involved in this campaign in the first place? What I mean is, is that it is titled [b]BURN & BE BURNED [i](Did you notice the way I did the Capital letters, Bold & Italic? Smiler )[/b]. Anyway, I think it's a bit harsh; What Neil is implying is that if you happen to burn a CD, you deserve to be burned (literally?). I'd hate to start up anything here Smiler , but this is our hero, the one & only Sir Neil Finn wanting anyone who ever burned a CD to burn. (How many people here have burned a CD or recieved one? Answer: Propably everyone). On behalf of myself, I am a bit upset, but mostly dissapointed with this great man getting involved in this cult where its primary aim is to see any *offenders* being burned.


I do believe there are a lot of gray areas in life, and many things are subjective. I also believe, however, there are some absolutes. By your rationale Deb, it would be hard to criticize someone for murdering in cold blood; after all, what's right for him is right for him, so who am I to think it's wrong? If that person decided that killing people is what "feels good" for him then we can't argue with that. Right? Your belief works for your own purposes but not when applied to other situations like the one above, and that is classically flawed logic.

From what you've said, a prototype of your own moral heierarchy might be: Robbing a bank is bad, stealing a car is bad, but stealing for your starving family is excusable, and, oh, what the heck, getting CD's for free is OK too.

Sorry, I realize things are subjective but I happen to disagree with that.

Also, logic/philosophy have proven another thing: correllation is not equal to causation. For our purposes, some people might point to figures and claim that CD sales have increased because of Napster, but in reality they are two separate, unrelated occurrences and they can't be substantially linked.

Here's a weird fact: Did you know that whenever the number of violent crimes increases in New York City there is almost always an increase in chocolate ice cream sales at the same time? It's true, yet the two obviously aren't related.

Let me relate the story of Andrew Carnegie. He was a famous oil tycoon and philanthropist in the US in the 19th century. He built his huge fortune largely through illegal and unethical business practices (bribing, tax dodging, industrial espionage), but near the end of his life he ended up donating a large portion of his fortune to charity and advancing culture (he built Carnegie Hall, many libraries, donated to universities).

Now some people may take a pragmatic approach as you do Deb and say "The end justified the means." But even those people would admit that the "means" weren't at all legal or ethical.

You, though, seem like you aren't even willing to acknowledge that, and this is what bothers me. If you want to say, "Yes, it's stealing, but it benefits the industry in the end" that would be fabulous. Right now you're saying "It's not stealing BECAUSE it benefits the industry in the end." Can you see the difference?

I'm not usually one to pick an argument, but I'm of the opinion that respectful, intelligent debates are usually beneficial for both sides. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to challenge your beliefs once in awhile--it seems a very healthy thing to do. I've become closer to my friends through my disagreements with them; you learn about people by challenging them. Remember, married couples who "never argue" usually divorce!!

I don't think cd pirates are going to hell or any such nonsense.. Smiler We all do little bad things now and then, like driving over the speed limit, grabbing a cookie from the cookie jar when we're kids, or downloading mp3's, myself included. The difference is, I admit and acknowledge what I'm doing is wrong, while others dress it up to hide the morality.
Wow, I almost lost my soy shake reading that one! Here is a tip. You don't know me, and you obviously have NO idea what I think or believe. You are pushing against the concepts of my beliefs, as you misunderstand them Smiler , as hard as you can. So if you want to use examples and extremes to try to make people get into your point, don't attach my name to them!

Basically, you've put me in the same situation my mother put me through my whole life and still does sometimes. She doesn't get me either, and she too makes up all kinds of junk about what I must think and believe about stuff. She turns them into extremes that are completely emotional, not logical, and not even accurate based on who I consistently am. Then, I'm faced with the opportunity to not only explain myself since she missed it the first X times, BUT ALSO to FIRST take the time to try and talk her out of what she's already decided about me. Before I can make her see who I really am, I evidently have to first convince her that I won't someday abandon her at a nursing home and never come see her. Smiler It's double awfulness, and more and more, I'm just tending to walk away rather than put in the effort to play into her dramas that are more about herself and her fears than anything I could say, do, or be.

Same here. I am not going to defend myself or even re-explain myself, nor will I go point by point and talk about how wrong you are (and why) when you make assumptions about me. For example, I never said the end justifies the means, yet you've attributed that to me along with a host of other characteristics and beliefs that I just don't possess. I will only say that I strongly disagree with you, especially your take on me, and I can only promise you that I know me better than you do. Smiler

Let me assure you of something that I hope will help. I understand your point of view on morals and legality as they relate to CD pirating and other issues. You are being very clear about how you feel and what you think. I know where you are coming from. You do not have to supply additional examples or explanations. I get you. I just happen to not agree. It is not that you haven't explained yourself enough or clearly. I understand what you are saying, and I can tell you feel strongly about this. But it just so happens that I don't share the same morals and views with you. Last I checked, that was completely OK and still legal. Smiler I'm allowed to be a unique me and I don't have to be you or anything like you.

On the off-chance that you are just looking for validation, I validate you! What are you saying is completely right and fine because it's right for you and to you. I support and appreciate that, and I refuse to pass judgment on you just because you don't share my beliefs. You are welcome to say and think that I'm bad, wrong, dangerous, evil, the cause of society's problems, and too stupid to have made the right comparisons between CD pirating and the history of American business. I am still confident in who I am and what I believe, and what you have to say about who I am and what I believe is only a reflection of yourself.

That's right! I have nothing new to say. Smiler If you want to keep going with this, I will continue to talk about my confidence and respect for varying beliefs and refusal to pass judgment. I will be allowing and tolerant and supportive of you whether or not you show me the same.

Tommy..they're JUST Cd's.You can't compare burning Cd's to sounds kind of ridiculous.I realise you want everyone who burns them..or even just accepts a burned copy from a friend to admit it's bad and wrong,or whatever.But I can tell you for me personally..I don't feel it's wrong.I just don't..and there really isn't any way you can change my mind.Not to mention..the blank Cd's used to make the copies are paid for,as are the originals.I got turned on to CH because my friend burned me a copy of Recurring Dream..and from there I bought originals of all things Enz/CH related that I could get my hands on,INCLUDING RD.The point're entitled to your opinion,no-one's saying you're not,but please just give us the same courtesy.Just because I own burned Cd's does not make me a bad person..I love the music and will take it any way I can get it. Smiler

Bsnifter, I didn't compare burning CD's to murder, of course that's ridiculous. I was only illustrating that Deb's logic that morality is all in the eye of the beholder is only self-fulfilling; it allows her "belief" that stealing music is ok, but applied to any larger moral question (like murder) it sounds ridiculous.

Remember, any criminal in any court would have all sorts of reasons why what they did was OK. I don't see this thread as very different at all. Not that anyone here should be in court (I anticipate the need to choke off a forgone conclusion).

Deb, regarding your assertion that I don't know anything about you, I freely admit as much, I only based what I wrote on what YOU typed. You seem to think I'm trying to reprogram you or something: not true. If me trying to understand your view and challenging it are somehow oppressive, I'm sorry, but if you're not going to make a case for yourself that's your problem.

>>If the idea that millions of people are test driving music, and thousands of CDs will be sold and new fans will be created who pump money back into the "machine" feels better, then you should think that. <<

Those are your words Deb. Aren't you essentially saying that piracy creates new fans and helps industry in the end? And isn't that saying the end ("new fans who pump money back into the machine") justifies the means (piracy)? If not please explain how.

>>What is right for me might be wrong for you, and what is wrong for you sometimes is right for you other times...I can't tell you which belief is right for you, nor will I say that the one you've chosen for yourself is bad and wrong. <<

again, your words, how can you say those words are appropriate for the moral question of burning CD's, but suddenly not when applied to something bigger like robbing a bank or shooting someone? It's a double standard.

nobody bothered to talk about a point I made earlier...what if there were a box that would magically duplicate cars? Wouldn't the auto industry have reason to be upset, and wouldn't it be pretty immoral to go around duplicating cars instead of paying for them? I dare anyone to say "no" to those questions, and then I dare them to explain how it's any different from a CD burner.
Originally posted by Tommy J:
[qb]but applied to any larger moral question (like murder) it sounds ridiculous.[/qb]

To those who find it ridiculous. It works for me, and it's a great way to live. I recommend it, though it's clearly not for everyone. Smiler See later in the post for more on this - don't just respond yet without reading the rest of this post.

[qb]if you're not going to make a case for yourself that's your problem.[/qb]

Not a problem. A choice. But I actually am standing up for myself. I am maintaining my ideas and beliefs. I am responding to you the way that feels best to me. I am displaying my confidence. Being me is the best case for myself. Smiler Which is why what you say is not a very good case for myself. Smiler

[qb]Aren't you essentially saying that piracy creates new fans and helps industry in the end? And isn't that saying the end ("new fans who pump money back into the machine") justifies the means (piracy)?[/qb]

I am saying that one possible outcome of the sharing of music, no matter how it gets shared, is the possibility that artists will find new fans and therefore new sources of interest and revenue. There exist people, like me, who have become new money-spending fans because of downloaded or shared music. I am not saying the end justifies the means because I believe that that too is in the eye of the beholder. The artist who is glad their music is being heard by people they hadn't reached and knows they have new fans might approve of all of this and believe the end justifies the means. The artist or company who feels they are being hurt by this or that any benefit is outweighed by pure evil probably believes the end doesn't justify the means. It's subjective, and I'll not say that one is universally true for anybody or any situation.

[qb]how can you say those words are appropriate for the moral question of burning CD's, but suddenly not when applied to something bigger like robbing a bank or shooting someone? It's a double standard.[/qb]

This is a really good example of you putting words in my mouth or assigning me beliefs and characteristics, and NOT even based on things I wrote. I made NO response to the whole bank robbery thing because it's extreme and emotional and I'm not going to play that game. I made no reference to it, and made no statement on it. You just made up how I believed AND THEN accused me of having a double standard. Do you know my Mom by any chance? Smiler

The shortest answer is this. Based on my personal and spiritual beliefs, what I have said applies to everything in the world. That would be what I have said the way I mean it, which doesn't seem to be the way you are taking it. Please don't bother making up extremes that are designed to appeal to emotions and make me seem inconsistent. You will be greatly dissatisfied and find your expectations broken. I am not saying that I support murder or enjoy when it happens nor do I recommend that someone perpetrate murder or be on the receiving end... but based on my beliefs, I understand why it happens on a level not covered by the evening news.

[qb]nobody bothered to talk about a point I made earlier[/qb]

I really suggest that you let go of expectations. You have an expectation that I'll respond in a certain way or defend or assert myself in a certain way. You have an expectation of who I am or how I'll debate you. You have an expectation that I will come around to agree with you or at least look really lame and inconsistent so that you can "win" I guess. You disregard most of what I write you and respond to tiny misunderstood tidbits, yet you're on our cases for not responding to a point you made earlier. I suggest you remove expectations. We're our own folks, and we have a right to be whoever we are in each moment, which just might break your expectations! Smiler

[qb]...what if there were a box that would magically duplicate cars? Wouldn't the auto industry have reason to be upset[/qb]

I never said that people who are against something have no reason to be upset. In being nonjudgmental, I'd never NOT validate how or why someone feels or chooses something. Any body, human or corporate Smiler , has a right to feel however they want. However, the fact that some artists feel OK about music sharing and some don't mean that being upset about music sharing is not a universal. We all should breathe is a universal; I doubt you will find people who happen to believe that we shouldn't do that.

[qb]and wouldn't it be pretty immoral to go around duplicating cars instead of paying for them?[/qb]

Eye of the beholder, my new friend. Let me pose this to you. Play along with this hypothetical situation. If artists and record companies had tangible direct ways to prove that they benefitted from music sharing, and the people who are upset now where happy (and the people who are happy now remained happy), would you still be yelling about morals? If everybody benefitted from a way that people could hear music before they paid for it or without paying for it, would it still be immoral to hear that music?

How about the radio. I don't pay for my radio or its use. It came free with my car and my portable electronics. I get to hear music without paying for it. Someone paid for this music and is sharing it with me. I did not pay for this music, but I am the one listening to this music, and maybe I hear the song on the radio so much that I don't bother buying it. Is that immoral?

I got into nearly every musician I am into today by seeing them on cable TV between 1979 and 1985. Those channels didn't cost any extra over the basic cable subscription, and I didn't pay any money to hear (and see) all of the songs that I did. There are record companies and musicians who made good deals of money off me because I got to experience their music at no cost to me.

IT'S CALLED MARKETING! Some artists and record companies are coming from such a fear place that they can't see the potential positives or even act on them so that they reap more benefit. They are very busy yelling illegal and maybe immoral, and it's only happening more and more. I am waiting for the day for these people to find a way to see the positives and stop acting so afraid. I have never seen a VH1 Behind the Music where an artist talked about going broke because too many people made cassette tapes of their albums and gave them to friends. Smiler But I have seen interviews with artists who were glad their music was being shared (which is free publicity for them). Are they immoral for being happy about this?

I am saying there is a positive side to the sharing of music. I understand the arguments for it being negative, wrong, dangerous, immoral, illegal, and the like. You don't have to explain them to be. I'm a clever chick. But in shouting immoral as loud as you can, you are not even hearing the possibilities of the positive effects. Stop shouting and listen. The more you say that I can't even see the other side, which I do, the more you are really saying that you can't see the other side.

Back to setting up my sister's new posh laptop. Smiler

I KNOW you never said anything about robbing banks, Deb, but I thought it was safe to assume you weren't pro-bank robbery!!! I also made the assumption you were against murder (uh, aren't you?)--that's the only way my point would even be valid. I also assume you're not a rhinocerous (or is that putting words in your mouth?) Would you get mad if I "assumed" you were pretty too?

Now you're putting words in my mouth. I never said there was no possibility of anything positive coming from piracy, I only said that piracy BEGINS as piracy, an illegal, immoral act, and may turn into something good or bad, but it must be acknowledged as stealing first.

>>Please don't bother making up extremes that are designed to appeal to emotions and make me seem inconsistent. You will be greatly dissatisfied and find your expectations broken. <<

You've already proven yourself inconsistent, I don't need to do anything.

You said earlier you were searching for the hidden meaning of my earnest arguing. Well, it seems you're more upset about being judged (you already explained your whole mother complex thing) than about anything to do with piracy.
Once again, you have avoided my points and just spent more time trying to tell me who I am or what I'm feeling. I'm posting on and on about how confident and comfy I am with my place, and you say I'm upset about being judged. This would have to fall into the category of being factually incorrect. I can't think of the last time I was upset about anything, so surely a friendly chat on a music message board doesn't feel upsetting.

Yes, I'd prefer if you didn't assume anything about me. Those are all judgments and opinions, and I have no connection to whatever you might opine. You are just as welcome to think I'm pretty as you are welcome to think I'm not. I'd appreciate, allow, and respect you just the same. I have no need for you to see me the way I see me. I'm just trying to see if something I say can help you see yourself.

Meanwhile, this conversation really isn't about me. I don't want this to be the Deb show. If you want to continue this, then I suggest that you reread my last post, and reply to the points I made about morality and music sharing. If you just want to post more misdirected comments about how I'm acting in the hopes that nobody will notice that's how you're acting, you are welcome to do that. The more qualities you assign to me, the more insight I get into how you see yourself.

How about we discuss piracy, which leaves off at my hypothetical situation and points about radio and TV. You can respond to that or not as I have no expectations, but I think this would be more interesting for readers (do we have any left?! Smiler ) if we talked about music and not whether or not I'm upset. We may be off the original topic, but what I think of murder and whether or not I'm upset at this conversation is really out there! Smiler

Deb, you brought up the point that you didn't like the way I made assumptions, so it's kind of silly to now say we shouldn't talk about it.

If you don't think it's stealing, why do you use the word "piracy," which by definition is stealing?

Your "points" are just more rationalizations..that's really all you've given here, rationalizations, as if justifying the deed somehow transforms it from stealing to some generous act on your part.

I don't think anything we've talked about is very "out there" at all...if I wanted to I could talk about your ideas and their relation to existentialism and Bertrand Russell..but I won't.

You've already declared that you're wearing blinders, and you've also declared you're never going to take them off.

As they say, "ignorance is bliss...." Confused
Then I guess we're done here, right?! I'm sorry that you weren't interested in the debate that you originally requested, and instead chose to focus on me. I understand that I can be extraordinarily interesting and exciting Smiler , or so I opine, but surely we could have continued to talk about theories and opinions on music sharing.

I normally avoid Oprah as she doesn't match me, but I happened to catch something a few weeks ago that I thought was very insightful from her "Dr. Phil." He was talking about people in arguments and how most people don't just want to express themselves or be heard, but they want to win. His point was that when they sense they are losing, they usually "change the game." Instead of talking about whatever the main topic was, now one person might say, "I don't like the tone of your voice!" Suddenly, the discussion is about the tone of a voice instead of the first topic. It's a defensive tactic basically to find an argument you can win since your mind/emotions think you can't win the original one.

So it goes from your music sharing is stealing and immoral to my music sharing has more positive than negative qualities and morals are subjective to your you're wearing blinders, rationalising, wrong, illogical, and ignorant. I don't fall for magician's tricks. I know to look at the hand I'm not supposed to be watching. I am not playing along with your change, and I understand that can be frustrating and make you want to lash out even more again who I am. But I will not engage you on your debate about me and what qualities I possess by acting defensive and discussing the figurative "tone of voice." You will have to find some other topic where you think you can win, OR since I'm not a competetive person, let's just talk about music sharing knowing that there is no winner since our beliefs and opinions are equally valid and right! At least that's what I offer as an idea that feels good.

Do you need to win this? Is there something so wrong with us believing different things? I don't need to win this. If you are looking to win something, can I just say "you win" and satisfy that desire without changing my stance? Or are you looking for me to change my stance too so that I agree with everything you've offered? I'm asking you seriously since maybe there is something I can say (that I'd mean) that can make you feel better.

If you ever decide to address my points, you're welcome to post here or email me privately. You may label my points and opinions however you choose, and of course I may strongly disagree, but I have offered what I think are important points about radio, TV, and the hypothetical situation of what if everybody saw music sharing/stealing/piracy/whatever you want to call it as a win-win situation. I am interested in your responses, and I hope you will choose to address those... not by trying to make this about my personality, but by offering a counter argument for what I presented. Despite your efforts, this discussion is not about my personality. I could be everything you say I am and we could still have a good discussion on music sharing. So let's have it! Unless we're done here. You decide.

It's all perfect. In case it's over, thanks for the posts.

PS: If anybody is still reading this other than me and Tommy (tap tap tap, is this thing on? Smiler ), I would like to hear ANYBODY's opinions on this topic. I would also like to hear ANYBODY's opinions or reaction to what I said about radio, TV, and the hypothetical situation where the whole world loves music sharing and whether it would still be immoral.

While I'd like to hear from Tommy, I'd also like to hear from anybody else willing to offer something on the topic of music sharing! There is some weird cosmic reason why this has gone on here when it should have been private, so I am hoping the reason is that other people will now join back in.


I've thought of a better way to say what I mean.

What we have here is a failure to understand the difference between "correct/incorrect" and "right/wrong." "Correct" is an objective term, while "right" is a subjective one.

Saying that 2 + 2 = 4 is correct, but not right.
Bank robbing is not incorrect, it is "wrong." Can we see the difference?

Now, here is how Merriam-Webster define the verb "to steal:"

"to take surreptitiously or without permission"

Let's apply this definition of "stealing" to our current debate. When you are in a CD store, you are not allowed to take a CD and leave the store without first paying for it. There is a prerequisite for transferring ownership of the CD from the store to you, and that is monetary compensation--this payment provides you with "permission" to remove the CD from the store and keep it for yourself.

Therefore, we can define "stealing" a CD as obtaining a CD with commercial value without paying for it; it doesn't matter if it's taken from a store, a loading dock, someone's car, over an internet connection, or given to you by a friend who paid for one CD but turned it into many CD's with a burner, all those things fit the dictionary definition of stealing.

Thus, to call music piracy "stealing" or "theft" is CORRECT.

To call it "right" or "wrong" is up to the individual. This I never disagreed with; I happen to think it's wrong, and I disagree with those who call it right, but obviously the label of "right" or "wrong" is subjective. That doesn't mean I don't have the right to debate about it, though. When people answer challenges by saying, "Hey, I have the right to my opinion" that more or less enforces the notion that they can't defend it.

If everything were left as completely subjective as some people would like, there would be no cause to criticize ANYTHING. The guy who breaks pop machines to steal the coins can't be criticized; who are we to tell him what's right or wrong? If it's right for him, then we'd be way off-base to tell him it's wrong. The same goes for the guy who beats up a person who happens to be of a certain ethnic/religious orientation. We can't tell him it's "wrong," because that's a subjective word. And hey, why are the cops arresting this guy? Don't they know that morality is subjective?

Absolutes MUST exist; without them there would be chaos and anarchy.

Piracy: the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright
((Deep breath))

OK, here is my take on that whole piracy/stealing/sharing situation. It is true that I have discovered quite a few bands through downloads from Morpheus. I have also gone to the bands' own websites and downloaded songs (Train's excellent song, "Drops of Jupiter" comes to mind here. Some songs I have found on the advice of friends and Frenz (Jen's Brown Couch Band link is awesome). I have purchased Train's new album, along with their first one. I have not picked up Brown Couch yet. I may not. I may put the song I downloaded onto a CD. I may just make up a "singles CD" of some of my favourite tunes of the moment.

The point is all about getting the music out there that we may not hear, otherwise. OK, "DOJ" was played ad nauseum since April until recently, but I doubt I would ever hear BCB on our local station, since they appear to still be in the regional band stage of their career.

I agree with Deb that the bands and record companies should see the win-win side of music sharing. It's not going anywhere soon. Since the first person recorded an album onto a cassette tape, this has been happening. It has not spelled the ruin of the music industry as we know it yet---in fact, I think it has helped many new artists along.

I happen to like the liner notes, artwork, bios, and lyrics that are included in CDs. I think they give insight into who the band is. I may make a few burned CDs, but it won't keep me from buying commercially made ones either!

Just thought I'd weigh in on this---for what it's worth.

A very interesting topic brought up. I dont know if anyone actually reads "Australian Musician" but in an interview, they actually asked Neil about the Napster topic. this is what he had to say:

Neil: "I welcome it. wheather or not it's right for one person to profit so dramatically from someones music, that's probably one issue. Certainly if its not them then it will be someone else and i dont think you can stop, of should stop people's access to what is available. Other wise its a form of tyranny. i think the internet is a great wonderous work in progress. i support anything that spreads good work, good music and good things around and i dont give a **** if its free or whatever"

Interviewer: "people like Metallica have gone to great lengths to protect thier music and the financial aspects of it......."

Neil: "Yeh, you know they sound like a business and i dont have much resect for them. i dont want to slag them off particularly, but i dont think that whole thing looked very good. it looked like they were anti-fans in a way. the principles of copyright are obviously what has made me money over the years and its hypocritical for me to say that all music should be free, because i have abviously benefited from copyright being strong (this is the bit i like and what im getting at!!) but i also think the people that downbload music in the are fans, and at some point they will buy something off you that you will get money for. so why begrudge them a few free things."
Taken from "Australian Musician, issue 26, 2001.

so after that, im sure Neil has his reasons for what he is doing.

my point of view, i agree with downloading or burning unofficial things like live songs etc.. that you cant buy, but when it comes to official stuff, the musicians have to make money some how. if people dont buy there cd's, they dont get money, record company wont support them anymore, no more artist. as for the guitar example of borrowing a guitar, then going to buy one, as someone else said, if the cd's burnt, they keep it. they dont give it back! if they were to be lent the cd to listen too, then thats alright cause it has to be given back and then they can go buy there own. anyway, im sure this is long enough. i hope this shed some light on the topic. Cheers............
As far as bands benefitting from file sharing, sure it can be a positive thing, but I would say, only in the case that the band has provided the files themselves. If a band makes a website with a few MP3's on it, then you really have no excuse to burn the whole album as a "test drive"--get the MP3's they're willing to let you have, and listen to those.

For example, I grabbed some mp3's of Radiohead's new live album from their website, and decided not to buy the disc, unfortunately for them I guess (just sounds like less interesting, less accurate translations of the album tracks to me). But at least I can feel good knowing I didn't have to acquire the tracks illegally and (IMO) immorally; Radiohead was obviously OK with it.

The excuse that some bands like Radiohead or Train are OK with providing MP3's to the public shouldn't be used to justify downloading files from bands that AREN'T OK with it--"Band X is really against file sharing, but if Radiohead's giving out free tracks, then Band X should too; don't they know it's going to help them? So, I'm going to go ahead and steal some." That's really not the consumer's decision to make, it's the band's....

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