Are the days of illegally downloading or ‘torrenting’ music, video and other forms of media coming to an end? The tension is heating up as Congress is moving closer to giving power to the Department of Justice to enforce copyright ad intellectual property rules by proposing The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. The proposed bill would give the Department of Justice “an expedited process for cracking down on these rogue Web sites regardless of whether the Web site’s owner is located inside or outside of the United States” (Greg Sandoval/CNET).
Didn’t Lars Ulrich put an end to this already? The answer is no. At no time will a governing body be able to corral the illegal downloading industry. Amidst this fight between Congress, performers, and the record labels versus the “Internet buccaneers who helped the masses plunder unfairly priced content”(Greg Sandoval/CNET) there is a group of people who will actually be hindered by this proposed legislation.
That is the artist. What if the artist wants people to have their music for free. Why should congress determine that? I had a conversation with a local musician about this topic recently; when asked about his opinions were on ‘free’ music, his reply was “I have no problem giving our music away. That is how we were able to start our following. We put a bunch of music online so that people could listen whenever they wanted. Now that we are about release our full length album, we still want to hold true to putting out free music, but we still need to make our money back obviously. It is important for us to have a presence with sites like Mavaru so that we can give away our music to the people who really want it. The simple truth is that you have to have the product though, if the product isn’t good, people just won’t listen. Regardless if it is free or not.” (Luke Darling/Oct. 2, 2010)
The Work Stands Alone
This point couldn’t be more valid. It is all about the product. If you’re a musician, filmmaker, writer or whatever, you have to have a product that is worth people spending their time and potentially, money, on. You must give them a reason to seek your product out. The realization is that no person cares that you have created a movie or wrote a song, why would they? It is almost damaging to the creativity of the artist to instill a false sense of entitlement. If you were to ask me, as an aspiring video artist, or any other artist; They would rather their work be looked at or listen to without making money off of it, as opposed to no one listening or watching and not making money off of it. I know I would.