Take a step back 30 years, if you can. People were listening to music on their radios. Apart from the cost of the radio itself, the music was free. The only thing was that you had no control over what music played. And you couldn’t rewind and fast forward. Now if you wanted to own music, you’d go ahead and BUY the CDs or Cassettes. Some people bought the CDs, and copied them on to other CDs and cassettes and lent them to friends. That was as far as P2P piracy went. The term “stealing” music was only used when someone shoplifted and well, if you were doing that, you KNEW it was wrong, or you were brain-dead. That’s probably the reason why if you’re 30-something or older than that, you know think that downloading music is unethical. Not like you don’t do it, but you know it’s wrong when you’re doing it!

Now, if you come to love music and appreciate it in the last decade or so, such as me, you’re bound to not know when listening to recorded music is right and when it’s wrong.

Forget the piracy laws for some time. Is music piracy good or is it bad? Of course, like EVERYTHING in life, it has its pros and cons. Sometime back, I read an article on a Scottish grandmother who was put on probation for 3 years, because she had downloaded over 50,000 £ worth of music illegally! Hell, there are lawsuits about 12 year olds for downloading music through Kazaa!

Nowadays, with sites like MySpace and Facebook, we’re able to listen to music online for free. A few years back, any music that you listened to online was just a lawsuit waiting to happen, and it was considered to be unethical. In my honest opinion, I think downloading music off the internet has really let a LOT of today’s youth explore music beyond their reach. An awesome example for this is the Metallica and Napster story.

Unlike what was said in the movie "The Social Network" it was actually Shawn Fanning who created Napster, Sean Parker was just an employee at Napster
Unlike what was said in the movie “The Social Network” it was actually Shawn Fanning who created Napster, Sean Parker was just an employee at Napster.

Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica sued Napster because apparently he “had no problem with sharing music, but Napster should’ve asked first”. Recently the problem got solved and left Napster miserably wounded. But, studies have shown that Napster actually HELPED Metallica’s popularity! Over 350,000 people were sharing Metallica’s music. That’s over $ 1.2 MILLION worth of music! Okay, sure, that’s a lot of music, but it’s also what helped fill up those auditoriums and stadiums during Metallica’s tours!

Songs by the Arctic Monkeys songs reached the #1 slot in the New Musical Express(NME) thanks to "illegal" file-sharing
Songs by the Arctic Monkeys reached the #1 slot in the New Musical Express(NME) thanks to “illegal” file-sharing

Of course, Metallica needs no introduction. And on a different note, neither do the Arctic Monkeys. But that’s now. When they first came out, their songs were being shared over a lot of P2P Sharing Softwares and the band gained a significant amount of media and there of their songs even reached the #1 slot in the New Musical Express(NME)! Alex Turner, lead vocalist of the band cannot stop praising programs like Limewire and KaZaA for sharing their files!

If you were a musician, you’ll know that forming a band and cutting an album costs a lot of money, and not all of us have that. P2P programs HELP that! They give the band the popularity that they need! 50 Cent, and Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong are not against downloading music. 50 Cent says that his first album was downloaded online 300,000 times, and then after release, it sold over 1,000,000 copies!

I guess with a QUALITY product, there’s no such thing as oversaturation.

In my opinion, the desperation of artists is REALLY shown when they decide they’re going to sue. Listening to music shouldn’t be reduced to mere give-and-take situation! Music’s purpose is to bring people together, regardless of their ethnicity, age or gender. It is a way for people who feel pressured by society to connect with the outside world and to cope with their emotions. Music is supposed to be something fun and enjoyable, not the result of an artist’s materialistic greed!

All said and done, I DO agree with the fact that it isn’t right to download music ALL the time. So please, try avoiding it. And I promise to practice what I preach!

Okay in general music news, Dream Theater has announced the name of its new album. It’s going to be called “A Dramatic Turn of Events” and it comes out on September 13th. I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to see what Mike Mangini has done to the band!

Yes, it will be up on BitTorrent on September 13th .

P.S. With the announcement of Apple’s (paid) iCloud service, record labels are going to try to make money from “illegal” content, will they actually stop piracy?