"You're getting something for nothing you lousy ingrate!! OK, I grant that you don't owe anybody the right to make a buck -- but you're enjoying their (movie, music, software) and not giving anything in return; that's wrong."
Ahhh yes, the `ole something for nothing routine. Having discovered that no meaningful harm is being done, some have suggested that filesharing is immoral because it is gratis.
Me: I listen to the radio for free every day -- I enjoy it greatly and I don't pay a cent. Is this wrong?
RIAA Zombie: But you pay for it through commercials!
Me: No I tune into a different station when a commercial comes on -- do you have a problem with that. I also leave the room when the tv commercials come on, its my preferred snack/bathroom break time. Maybe I Tivo. Does this trouble you so? Can I not enjoy tv and radio for free? Did I sign some sort of a contract that I would watch the commercials? The fact is we get something for nothing all the time in life -- air, radio, tv, beaches, mountains, forests, those little snacks they give away in supermarkets, ...
RIAA Zombie: But its not fair, the record studio does all this work to produce the cds, then you just take the music off the internet without paying a dime!
Me: Wake up and smell the napalm! The only thing unfair about the record industry is how they treat the musicians (despite what you think, musicians make the great bulk of their money touring, as they've always done since before there were even vinyl records.) Record studios produce a zero-value product (since the cost of copying and delivering information in today's world costs basically nothing) when they offer me a cd. The artists provide value, but they make their money on concerts and merchandise -- which by all accounts can only increase with a wider distribution of their music. But we're digressing here, as these things always do, into a fight about the proper business model for the record studios. I don't owe the Record companies a profit (see my first post) and I don't give a rat's ass how much money they [don't] make. In a free market its up to the record company to provide me a valuable product if they want my business -- and copying and distributing digital files costs me nothing, so what value do they add?
Up next: why the idea of "owning" digital content is patently ridiculous.