Sir Paul McCartney on Fixing The Hole For Young, Exploited Successful Songwriters


The Cute Beatle (who is vying to the death with Ringo Starr for the vaunted designation of "the Only Remaining Beatle") sounds off on the Internets and the downloading and the young Italian girls:

"Years ago, when this first started, this idea of people being able to download stuff for free, I was doing an interview in Italy and it was a young girl and I said, 'What do you think about it?' and she said: 'Oh, I think it's great. You know, you get it all for nothing.' I said, 'Okay, this week, you go back to your office and your boss says, 'Sorry, I'm not paying you this week,' how'd you like that? She said, 'Oh, no, I wouldn't like that.'

"I said, 'Well, that's the equivalent' because I've kind of, you know, I've kind of had the best of it, really. But the young kids coming up now, let's say, there's a guy who's got a hit and he's got a young family–that's his job. Now, if he doesn't get paid for that, I think that's unfair. So, I think, you know, it's good to get a nice, fair system where whoever does something that's really successful, should get paid for it."

More, including video, here.

Actually, the equivalent would be something like: "You go back to your office and and your boss says, You've sold a million records but I'm not paying you because you owe for studio time and distribution and marketing costs and keeping the lights on while you were out."

As The Walrus's contemporary, Roger McGuinn, could tell him, those record companies aren't exactly quick to dispense royalties to performers.

Are contemporary young, successful songwriters stuck darning their own socks like a latter-day Father McKenzie? Somehow I doubt it. But wot do I know? I actually saw Give My Regards to Broad Street in the theater.

Reason on this sort of thing.

One goddamn great Macca tune (who really could never write a goddmaned lyric to save his life):

NEXT: "What the President wants is a Supreme Court that will stand aside when or if Congress enacts the programs the President favors"

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  1. The Walrus was not Paul.

    1. Pitty, that.

  2. …and the young Italian girls:

    Go On…

  3. The Faces’ version of “Maybe I’m Amazed” up on the Youtubes is better.

    who really could never write a goddmaned lyric to save his life

    If I remember right, he changed Costello’s line in “Veronica” from “while telling her that she must sit still” to “and if they don’t then nobody else will.” If so, that’s a fine life’s work right there.

  4. For most of human history, it’s been damn near impossible to make a living as a musician, even if you’re really good and lots of people like what you are doing.

    Do musicians get “screwed” by their labels? Look at it this way: The majority of the money from a CD you buy goes to paying people with ***much*** less fun jobs than the artists. The machine to make a “star” out of some cute teen requires an army of people promoting her. Those people are not doing it for dreams of celebrity. They are doing it to get paid, and they deserve to get paid.

    Meanwhile the “artist” in question is probably the most easy-to-replace employee in the entire system… at least until they become famous enough to carry a label on their own, at which point they negotiate a better deal. For ever fresh new face in the music scene, there are hundreds of kids just as talented who would not only work for free, but pay to be in the position of building a “stardom” career.

    Musicians get paid according to their market value, same as everybody else.

    1. You are correct. The idea of the rich celebrity musician did not arise until the 19th Century. Beethoven and Paginini were really the first pop music stars as we know it. In contrast, Mozart, who died when Beethoven was seven, was never a rich man and was as every one knows buried in a pauper’s grave.

      Somehow the world managed to produce the music of Bach, Handel, Mozart and everyone else before Beethoven despite musicians being tradesman who depended on the patronage of the rich for a living.

      1. A few years ago This American Life did a bit about a poster that showed up around Seattle for Zero Band Population Growth, which tried to curtain the number of bands forming. It had directives like a prohibition on side projects and a seven day waiting period for new instruments. I’ve never found anything online.

        In the meantime there are thousands of albums out of print which the record companies still hold the rights to and which do not exist digitally. In these cases, piracy is an option.

        1. And there are millions of books that are out of print that the publishers will never make a dime off of that they refuse to turn over to the public domain. After 20 years or so there ought to be a sizable fee to renew copyrights. If you are not using it to make money, it belongs in the public domain so that maybe someone else can figure out something to do with it.

          1. BUT BUT BUT what if that other person made money off it?!?!

          2. Renewing copyrights sucks. That Sherlock Fucking Holmes and Gone With the Goddam Wind are not in the public domain is a travesty. Don’t even get me started on that evil sonovabitch mouse.

            50 years, no renewals, no exceptions.

            1. I would go with copyright expires when the artist does, no exceptions.

              1. Corporate copyrights exist. Corporations never die.

                I don’t mind if Ted Geisel’s heirs collect some bucks from his later works. They shouldn’t get shit from The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins though.

              2. That sort of blows for a guy who writes a masterpiece, then dies before someone buys the rights, leaving behind a family. Publishers can make plenty of money off the books without any obligation to his heirs. It makes artistic labor somewhat disadvantaged relative to others rooted in the creation of tangible property, in addition to the fact that the payoff is particularly unpredictable relative to other industries.

                I think if you cap it at 28 years, period, you would be fine without having to worry about the artist’s life. Personally, I would also go farther and make it a requirement to file an official copy of the work with the Library of Congress for a work to be copyrighted; the artist could set, through the LoC, the desired royalty per copy of the work, but anyone who was willing to pay the royalty would be allowed to publish a copy or even a derived work.

                1. I’ve always liked 30 years + option to renew for another 30, with automatic irrevocable right of reverter for the author or heirs.

                  Of course, Bern changes all that, with their fixation on the life of the author. At least the U.S. didn’t also protect “moral rights”…

            2. “That Sherlock Fucking Holmes …”

              Is that a porn film?

      2. And you’re talking about genius composers. A better analog to a guitarist or pop singer would be the tavern entertainers who have died completely forgotten in past centuries.

        Recorded music, radio, and eventually television allowed popular music PERFORMERS to seek the kind of widespread fame which was reserved to a handful of touring opera singers in the past, but it also meant that, instead of needing to be the best bass-fiddle player in your town to make a buck at it, your competition was now recordings of the best bass-fiddle players IN THE WORLD.

        But the bottom line is that performing music is a FUN activity, so there will always be steady stream people willing to do so at a relatively high level of competence for very little money.

        The market for music was never strong enough to support everybody who wants to be a musician, and that’s why musicians usually don’t make much money.

        1. All true. And no matter how much people can pirate, there will always be a demand for live music. But the demand is a lot lower today than it was. Before recorded music nearly everyone became some kind of musician, or was rich enough to hire them, because that was the only way you could hear music.

        2. And my point was not that musicians don’t deserve to be paid. It was that culture does not depend on them being paid much. We had plenty of great music in the days when ever the greatest musicians were middle class at best.

          1. If anything, megafame and the wealth that accompanies it is ruining our artists.

            1. I’d say the quicker you are to achieve great fame, the more likely you are to be a mediocre musician with a great manager and promotional team.

              1. Good point.

            2. How do you mean?

            3. counterpoint: Lady Gaga

              After seeing how much free publicity O’Reilly gives her I conclude that fame has made her art better. It’s like they are daring her to be provocative. And that makes it better.

              1. Does he like her or think she’s weird?

      3. Actually, Lizst is considered the first pop music star…he actually groupies and roadies and whatnot

        1. Lisztomania –

          I spelled it wrong above. I’m such a philistine.

  5. Another way to look at it: Until your SECOND platinum album, you’re essentially an unpaid intern. Nobody at Reason objects to other corporate internships, so what’s the problem with contracting a musician in such a way that it takes a couple years before they make money, and only then if they are successful enough to set themselves apart.

    Sorry, but if you play in yet-another bar band which sounds kind of like Coldplay, nobody owes you a living at your chosen career. You should at least be better at entertaining a crowd than the fat middle-aged guys in Hawaiian shirts playing blues covers at the suburban Famous Dave’s BBQ before you even consider seriously dreaming of making money at what you’re doing.

  6. **Actually, the equivalent would be something like: “You go back to your office and and your boss says, You’ve sold a million records but I’m not paying you because you owe for studio time and distribution and marketing costs and keeping the lights on while you were out.*

    No, Paul’s analogy is more to the point. What does it matter whether the money is used to pay off debts resulting from production costs or to buy food? If it’s not being paid for, it’s not being paid for. If you want the record company to be the boss in the scenario it would actually be more like:

    “sorry, we have to let you go, because no one is buying enough of what you produce to cover the costs of employing you.”

    The ship has already sailed, and there is nothing to be done about it, but making any money at all, let alone a “living,” from songwriting is about 10,000 times more difficult now than it was ten years ago. (Ballpark figure.)

    1. I have plenty of friends in relatively unknown bands that have sold songs for commercials or tv shows and made tens of thousands for it. I highly doubt they would have gotten anything like that before file sharing and the internet.

      1. Also, “Check out my youtube channel” is a lot less confrontational than shoving your demo tape in someones hands.

  7. One goddamn great Macca tune (who really could never write a goddmaned lyric to save his life

    Not sure what would constitute a “goddmaned” lyric, but “She’s Leaving Home” is a perfectly cromulent song.

    1. I like that one to. Paul wrote a lot of great lyrics back in the day.

      1. I think Nick’s getting just a little too crotchety. Maybe he should get out more amongst some real people.

  8. My buddy and I both studied geology in college. He’s in an indie rock band. He doesn’t make much on cds but he gets to tour the world, and he makes a pretty good chunk of change doing it. Meanwhile I work in an office, have pretty good health insurance, and get two weeks vacation every year. Let’s just say I wish I was good at the guitar.

    The thing is, though, that without the internet and file sharing and streaming and blogs he’d be in an office too.

    1. So despite your different paths, ultimately, you’re both into rock.

  9. And a third say to look at it: Anybody who watches this video

    and still think Kesha deserves to make a single thin dime for what she’s doing needs a swift kick to the throat.

    1. George Lucas pays people to stand in costumes and not say anything, i don’t see how her job is any different/less-valuable.

      I’d rather listen to one of Chewbacca’s songs though.

      1. I would value Kesha a lot higher if she stood still and wasn’t saying anything.

        1. My lipsyncing reference was too subtle. You got me on the movement part.

          1. When I hear that “Tick Tock” song it reminds me of that Charles Barkley Taco Bell commercial… “Tick tock on the clock, the 5 dollar box rocks, a cheesy Gordita and cinnamon twists!”

    2. Kesha’s value is in reminding us that Mike Judge may have had a point.

  10. Why is music piracy the one form of theft everyone tries to rationalize?

    1. Same reason breaking the speed limit is the one traffic violation everyone tries to rationalize: It’s perceived as a silly and arbitrary law, and therefore somewhat optional to obey.

      1. Not to mention that the dinosaur record companies absolutely refused for the longest time to acknowledge that people didn’t want to pay $15.00 for cd’s anymore, especially when there were 3 or 4 decent songs and 10 filler tracks.

        I’m not saying that this gives people the right to pirate songs, but the major labels were very reluctant to go down the digital media route, and instead signed a deal with the devil that locks out those of us who refused to be locked into the Apple/Itunes closed ecosystem.

        1. So if someone doesn’t like the price, they should steal the product?

          1. Perhaps you missed the part where I said “I’m not saying that this gives people the right to pirate songs”.

            1. I did miss that part, and realized it after hitting the post button. Damn non-previewing ass that I am.

          2. If the price is the result of a government-mandated monopoly, it’s a little easier to justify.

            1. Patents and copyrights are less permanent than any other form of property ownership, which is typically perpetual. And there is no government mandate either – I can choose to not copyright my works, can give them away for free and can set my own prices. Much of the historic high prices were attempts to recoup production costs since 9 out of 10 records lost money, not as a result of copyright.

    2. it’s not theft if you don’t believe in copyright.

      1. Bullshit. That like saying I don’t believe in private property so it’s not theft when I take your car, lame rationalization of a wrongful act.

        1. I was going to post the exact same thing, but it seemed to simple to be accurate.

        2. Except that, under the law, copyright violations aren’t theft and never have been. Noncommercial, personal scale piracy isn’t even a criminal violation, AFAIK.

        3. Fuck you try and enforce it. IP nazis are no different than the cavemane who went around stomping out peoples fires because he thought fire was HIS idea.

      2. it’s not theft if you don’t believe in copyright.

        And it’s not rape if you don’t believe in free will.

    3. Well, and software piracy.

    4. ‘Cause it’s easy.

      1. Sadly this is the most accurate answer, but I was hoping for more from people willing to argue all day for the value of property rights.

        If that property is recorded music, then fuck you, I should have free access to your work or some bullshit.

        1. The concept of property is based on limited resources. You can’t have my car because then I would cease to have it.

          In the digital age, all recorded media is just data, and the cost of reproducing that data on your own storage space is, for all practical purposes, zero.

          Intellectual property is not naturally property. It’s a limited monopoly granted by the government to the author/creator of an original idea, so that those who create novels, songs, etc. have an opportunity to make money off it, which incentivizes creativity. But don’t mistake that for a fundamental property right. Congress could simply eliminate copyright tomorrow and nobody’s rights will have been violated.

          1. The concept of property is based on limited resources.

            Umm, no. The dollars in your bank account are your property, even though they have no physical existence, and it would cost the government nothing to just add a million of them to your account.

            All property is a useful social fiction. An entity is your property because social custom dictates that it is. Physical control of an object obviously does not mean it is your property, for in that case there would be no difference between theft and trade, as a “stolen” object would simply become the property of the thief who physically controls it.

            1. IP is a harmful social fiction..real property rights are a beneficial social fiction.

        2. Under the law, it’s unequivocally theft. I doubt it hurts musicians much in the aggregate, but it’s certainly illegal.

          1. In the aggregate? Collectivize much?

            1. And there’s Tulpa, with a wholly unexpected nag. Good work, you miserable cunt.

          2. Under the law, it’s unequivocally not theft. That’s why it isn’t prosecuted under laws against theft, assuming it’s grounds for prosecution (rather than a lawsuit) to begin with.

        3. I don’t think I have any right to access your songs…but if you want to invade my eardrums with your songs then or you come up with new ideas that I affront my other senses then beware I will use your invasion of my senses for my own utility at later times. I will not let you invade my sensory equipment and then claim to have ownership over how i use my sensoy equipment.

    5. Sort of begging the question, eh?

  11. Get off your lazy ass and tour. Try as they might, they can’t download the experience of being to a live performance.

    1. Well…..if the concert sucks and the crowd isn’t going crazy, a video tape of that performance would be just as good as being there. But why would you want to go to a show like that anyway, so, ummm, yeah, what DP said.

      1. (excuse the anachronistic “video tape” in there.)

    2. If anybody went out to sit and listen to live music anymore, that would be a viable option. But they don’t, so it’s not. This is especially true of local bands playing mostly original material.

      Between smoking bans, .08 BAC driving laws, techno DJs, karaoke nights, and downtown parking costs, most of the bands in my town find themselves mainly performing in front of members of other bands. The scene consists almost entirely of performers with only each other for an audience.

      1. If anybody went out to sit and listen to live music anymore, that would be a viable option. But they don’t, so it’s not. This is especially true of local bands playing mostly original material.


        People don’t go and see live music anymore? Really?

        Cuz around here lots of live music is seen by many patron in bars and clubs.

        The scene consists almost entirely of performers with only each other for an audience.

        Maybe the bands you are talking about, suck ?

        1. Are you actually in Chicago?

          I have seen some monster unknown blues musicians there, and have heard the punk scene is enviable.

          1. Didn’t mean to post. Meant to add:

            I can see where Tara is coming from. In Pittsburgh the local music scene has been withering for awhile. A lot of bars that used to pay for live music, or have a cover, are instead opting for open mic nights. These are invariably horrible, usually there are like eight guys in twenty different combinations playing the same type of music. A lot of them are either SRV wannabes or jam banders who don’t know rudimentary music theory.

            1. At least there’s the Clarks.

              1. Subsidize, you should of posted that under barfman.

                Here goes it,


                1. I vommed a little when I posted it.

                  They’re the perfect non-fireworks night PNC park entertainment – shitty music and shitty baseball.

                  Pittsburgh has the worst music scene of any city I’ve been through.

                  1. Isn’t Pittsburgh the city that spawned Perry Como?


            2. I’ve played for a living on and off for 35 plus years. I don’t own any Hawaiian shirts. My day gig pays very well and would pay better if I applied myself but I’d sooner gig in the saloons until the money runs out.

              Why? Because nobody ever stood in front of a mirror and played air-engineer.

        2. I wonder how long the blues scene will last in Chicago? A lot of those guys are older than old. It was pretty good still when I lived there. I went to a few blues bars regularly, and I lived above Buddy Guy’s place the last few months I was there.

          1. Last time I was in ChiTown, the guys I saw were in their 20’s, and playing at Buddy Guy’s place.

            By the way, Buddy Guy’s bar is not a touristy place for those of you who haven’t been there. I liked it there and I hate fake shit.

            When I went last time, I missed Mr. Guy, who is one of my heroes, mingling in the crowd. You can drink too much.

            1. I liked it too. I only went because my dad is the hugest Buddy Guy fan evar, so I was going to check it out, get him a t-shirt and bounce. But the music was awesome and the crowd was fun so we stayed for much of a drunken night. I love Chicago in summertime.

      2. Bullshit, nearly every concert in Austin for even a semi famous band is sold out weeks in advanced and the ones that are not are still very full.

        1. You guys are talking about Austin, and Chicago of course there is a thriving music scene. The musical history of your respective cities is undeniable.

          But, don’t pretend every city is going to have the same level of musical appreciation, and quality of bands to see.

      3. I played in front of probably about 120 people this past Saturday.

        Sold three CD’s (and two t-shirts), too!!

        No, it ain’t enough to make a living on, not by a long shot, but it’s not quite true that no one goes out to see live music anymore….

  12. Obama Names Carville ‘Right-Wing Threat Assessment’ Czar

    Washington, D.C. (Reuters) ? In a hastily called news conference this morning just before first-period bell at a Washington grade school, President Barack Obama introduced James Carville as the administration’s new “Right Wing Media Threat Assessment and Quick Reaction Strike Force Czar.” Currently a Professor of Practice at Tulane University, Carville is married to Republican strategist Mary Matalin.

    “Dr. Carville has an unparalleled understanding of the danger Fox News, right-leaning bloggers, and “new media” outlets like Big Government and Big Journalism pose to my plans for America,” Obama said in his trademark sing-song voice, his head swiveling from side to side in the way we’ve all come to know and love. “He will work with the FCC, the FTC, Attorney General Holder, and the mainstream media to expose sedition masquerading as dissent wherever he finds it.…..more-74030

    1. I’d like to introduce you to a new term: “satire”. Look up the definition.

      1. I thought George played sitar?

  13. He looks like he’s been sucking on a boiling lemon for the last week.

  14. Did you know that if you play “Maybe I’m Amazed” backwards, you get a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup?

    1. “Ripping” lentil soup? Is there another kind?

  15. “Somedays” is beautiful. “Back in the USSR” was hilarious. “My Brave Face” is great, as good as any post-Beatles song. In fact, almost that whole album (Flowers in the Dirt) is lyrically good.

    Give the knight more credit.

    1. Isn’t that the album that had “ou est le soleil” on it? Oy.

  16. Sir Paul is okay, but he needs to look at the big picture.

    1. In a 5-1 decision, no less. Fuck ’em. I do believe that a trained cop can accurately estimate vehicular speed, I just don’t trust them not to lie about it.

  17. Sounds like hes got some pretty good ideas dude. Seriously.


    1. Can the Reason admins just ban any poster who writes “lou”?


      1. No, he’s our ‘canary in the coal mine’ for the singularity. Very useful.

        And it doesn’t post too much.

      2. What do you have against Lou Christie?

  18. Ah! another blogger trying to justify theft if it’s music theft. It’s really much simpler than the “file share community” likes to make out. If the music is licensed or copyrighted, downloading it for free or making it available for others to download for free is theft. The evilness of record companies is irrelevant. The possibility of helping your sales of your musical product via the internet is irrelevant if you’ve signed a contract. If the artist has signed a contract dividing profit between artist and recording company, there’s law governing how you can use the artist’s product. If the artist wants to advertise himself with free tracks, that’s fine, and entirely up to him. But if that music is covered by a contract, and fees and royalties aren’t being paid, that’s theft.

    And Paul’s analogy is accurate.

    1. “If the music is licensed or copyrighted, downloading it for free or making it available for others to download for free is theft.”

      No, it’s not. It’s unauthorized duplication in violation of copyright.

      It can’t be theft if the victim still has it, which they do.

      It’s still a crime, but it’s a different crime from theft.

      1. So if I make a copy of Microsoft Windows and give it to my friend who can give it to all his friends, we are not stealing because Microsoft still has the original source code? If you don’t want Windows or don’t think it is worth the cost, don’t use it – otherwise, buy it like all the rest of us do and stop theoretically stealing the cost of the software from the company.

        If you still don’t think that is theft, I suppose an advertising company hiring hackers to break into the computers of your vendor companies and steal your personal information isn’t theft because the vendor company still has your information?

        I suppose wiring myself money out of your bank account, making a profit by investing it and returning the amount I took to you before you notice is not stealing?

        I suppose I can steal the source code and image on your website and make my own version? I guess if I ripped off and built my own site “” that was exactly the same formatting, etc. and reprinted all of their articles verbatim but didn’t allow the trolls to post and thus I steal all Reason’s customers and advertising revenue, Nick Gillespie will think I’m perfectly within my rights, because the Reason writers can always go on the speaking circuit, write books or get paid to syndicate their columns in bigger newspapers?

  19. Nothing to see here.

  20. What about “And here’s another clue for you all/The Walrus was Paul” ???

  21. Hmm…so libertarians are perfectly fine with taking what is defined by law as property that was produced under voluntary contract as long as it is easily reproducible and not tangible? Not cool guys.

    I understand anarchocommunists who care less about property and will freely steal it, but not those who claim to want to defend the rights of property owners and then make exceptions or try to justify their actions so they don’t look like hypocrites. We can have a reasonable discussion about the problems of copyright law, but claiming that stealing music is ok because you don’t like major labels is just as bad as stealing Nikes because you don’t like the fact they were made in a sweatshop. Is stealing a copy of Microsoft Windows or a CD from Best Buy significantly worse than making a copy and downloading it?

    As a musician myself, I am so glad that the people who actually should be caring about property rights the most would gladly take the stuff I have labored hard at producing (which I also can’t easily replicate in a live setting) and would use it as much as they like without permission or payment. If I sell one album because a million people just illegally download copies of that album, is that just? If not, how do you draw the line? I freely give away a lot of my music. My site has over 40 songs for free download. But that’s MY choice, not yours.

    There’s no question that the internet has generally been a boon to musicians’ bottom line (creativity is another debate) – but using that to justify theft is like saying stealing from Wal-Mart is ok because they are the biggest corporation and surely won’t miss one candy bar or MP3 player.

    1. Well put. IP is libertarianism’s blind spot. I’m always astonished by the number of ethical contortions so-called “libertarians” are willing to perform in order to justify their theft of another individual’s creations. Their equivocation that “pirating” a song is not theft because it’s “digital” and not a tangible entity that you can see and hold is, at best, comically dishonest. Genuine libertarians are not anarchists. Ethical, principled defenders of property rights do not make exceptions for “intellectual” property. A song or a poem or a novel is no different than a car or a pack of cigarettes. If it doesn’t belong to you, you have no right to take it.

      1. Addendum: If it doesn’t belong to you, you don’t have the right to make one like it through your own labor, either.

  22. Why do so many people rag on the music of Paul McCartney?

    The lyrics may not be communicating anything of gravitas, but a lot of the songs are just fun to sing along with:

    Don’t get too tired for love
    Don’t let it end
    Don’t say goodnight to love
    ‘Cause it may never be the same again

    Don’t say it
    Don’t say it
    You can say anything
    But don’t say goodnight tonight

    Or, as Paul himself asked, “Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs/And what’s wrong with that?”

    I’d much rather listen to McCartney’s stuff than John Lennon’s awful dirges.

    1. Yeah, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer is good fun.

  23. The very idea that music itself can be property is an anachronism unique to the 20th century, when recordings were available for the first time, but were prohibitively expensive to manufacture and store. People were willing to pay for it because that was the only way to get recorded music.

    Things have now changed. Music can be recorded cheaply, and stored for almost nothing. There is a whole lot of it available for free (either legally or illegally), and therefore people are less and less willing to pay for it.

    I’m not saying any of this is right or wrong. It’s just reality. Within maybe a decade, the market for sold recorded music will probably no longer exist. The artist will then have two choices: (1) Make all their recordings available for free, or perhaps for some nominal charge; or (2) Refuse to record (of course some live recordings would still make the rounds regardless).

    The first option allows you to use the recorded music as marketing for your live shows; the second could conceivably create additional interest in those shows, if you could get the word out through some pretty awesome performances.

    But arguments about whether it’s stealing or not will soon be moot.

    1. Storage and cost has nothing to do with intellectual property. And the concept of “theft” is the same now (and will be in the future) as it was 30,000 years ago. Neanderthals grasped it. Why can’t libertarians?

      1. Wait, Neanderthals told each other “stop copying me!”? Maybe five-year-old Neanderthals, but learning through imitation has been the norm for most of human history.

        1. I say “stealing,” and you say “copying.” It’s a little game libertarians play. I’m surprised you didn’t say “sharing.” That’s what children do with their own property. Apparently, they are more ethically developed than anarcho-libertarians.

        2. In no way can you call ownership of property not acquired legally with permission from the owner “imitation.” Starting a tribute band or a student painting a version of a masterpiece is imitation, but it is still not and will never be the real thing, unlike stolen MP3s.

        3. It is odd that those in favor of IP enforcement are also those who are most likely to be justifying income taxes, VAT, property taxes, sales taxes or some other violations of physical property rights.

          1. Gabe, the fact that statists can be inconsistent hypocrites is already a known fact. That libertarians should be hypocrites by justifying theft is disappointing.

      2. yes neanderthals had wars about who invented fire and were always demanding payments from each other for stealng the idea of fire from on another.

        There was also the great wheel wars were one group extracted payment from the otehr for three millenium for having ownership of the wheel idea.

      3. I guess you missed the part where I said “I’m not saying any of this is right or wrong. It’s just reality.”

    2. “(1) Make all their recordings available for free, or perhaps for some nominal charge;…”

      Which means that most new recorded music will be amateurish vanity productions. It may be the path recorded music is headed down, but ultimately it will be destructive to the quality of content.

      1. “will be”?

      2. it will be destructive to the quality of content

        Perhaps, but it’s irrelevant to the discussion. A crappy song is every bit as precious to the owner as a masterpiece.

      3. Frankly, I doubt it. Recorded music will serve much the same purpose as MTV videos did in the ’80s. Few people went out and purchased copies of the videos. But people spent a lot of money making them because it was effective advertising for the artist. Not to mention it made them famous, not an incentive to be taken lightly.

  24. ‘Okay, this week, you go back to your office and your boss says, ‘Sorry, I’m not paying you this week,
    I think he forgot the addendum, “However you will get free room and board, all the alcohol you can drink, and sex with many anonymous strangers.”

  25. That talented musician who wrote classics like “Silly Love Songs”. Gimme Lennon any day.

  26. What about downloading a TV show from a torrent site? I have the channel the show airs on but I am busy when they air it. Is that wrong?

    1. Downloading, thus taking ownership of a copy, with the non-consent of the owner/producer would be theft. Streaming is probably ok, however – that’s more like viewing a work of art at a museum, listening to a friend’s CD or using Windows on your sister’s computer. The moral question would be whether the site you are streaming from got permission from the owner – otherwise it would be like viewing the stolen Mona Lisa in a black market museum. Probably not ethical but not stealing either.

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