4 Replies to “Nihilism”

  1. What % of “nothing” did you 1) buy 2) borrow 3) steal? Trying to set some ethical guidelines for my music acquiring kids. What % should you buy vs. borrow from known family or friend vs. steal a.k.a. anonymous download. I think 51% / 49% / 0%. Translation: Buy most; steal nothing. (Not steal your nothing list, of course.)

  2. Jeb – Before I can answer that, I’ll need to know how you would define the difference between “borrowing” and “stealing” music. If you told me that some people loaned MP3s to others and returned them later, I wouldn’t believe you. Digital kind of makes the concept of borrowing irrelevant.

    Also, is there an ethical difference between ripping my friends CDs and downloading from P2P networks?

    Anyway, to answer your question, 12/28 from the list above are either from my own CDs or purchased through emusic (I’ve been an emusic subscriber for years).

    To answer your other question, I too grapple with the question of what stance to take with Miles on all of this. Clearly, if I’m going to take any kind of a hard line with him, I’m going to have to ditch half of my own collection.

  3. Maybe share vs. borrow. In the pre-digital days we made tapes from friends albums. It was limited by the laws of physics and your limited network of friends and family. Sharing created exposure which created sales. The music industry did just fine. So I think the ethical model needs to revert back to that. Some sharing is ok. Make it among close friends and family. So 51% “buy” should be a minimum. Napster abused sharing and turned it into stealing. Downloading from anonymous sources is stealing.

    For me there is irony with Napster. It totally rekindled my interest in buying new music, and I have purchased far more in the years since Napster than the same number of years prior. Besides buying CDs again, I’m now paying XM Radio two monthly subscriptions (his and hers.) Just yesterday I bought 20 iTunes songs hand picked by my two daughters as a reward for an excellent piano recitle. The music industry is doing fine by me again (after a decade lapse.)

  4. Jeb, given that it’s technically a gray area, I think that practically speaking, you’ve identified a really nice compromise. We tend to think we can’t return to the days when the physical act of tape copying was self-limiting in terms of volume traded, but we can certainly limit our own behavior with our moral compasses. Just because you *can* share with the world doesn’t mean you should. But it also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share *at all*.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.