If You Build It, They Will Come.

Friday, November 21, 2003

I just had a thought.

I found a website that I think is brilliant. It's an apology to the RIAA for the piracy of music in the form of mp3's off of Napster and KaZaa and other such file sharing services. If you don't want to click on the link, I'll just explain it to you. Basically, people are sending back the mp3's they stole. They're emailing mo3's to the RIAA, they're taking the hex code that the mp3's are written in and printing them out (which will take up several hundred sheets of paper) and mailing or faxing them to the RIAA.

I think it's wonderful.

So it's about that time of year again that I talk about piracy. I think I've covered this topic back during the Napster vs. Metallica thing, but I'd like to talk about it again.

I've downloaded mp3's, and I'm not sorry.

If you're going to charge me $17.99 for a CD that has one good song on it, you're going to make the same amount of profit as if I just download it. Nothing. I'm not going to buy your crappy-ass CD anyway, what do you care if I download it and then play your song for a friend and HE goes out and buys your crappy-ass CD? You're getting free advertising for anyone who comes over to my house while my playlist is going.

"But Joe," Lars says, "With file sharing, you'll never buy another CD, and then I won't be able to afford my yacht AND my seventh Rolls Royce! I'll have to pick only one. ONLY ONE!" Yeah, well bite me, Lars. Some of us have to actually WORK for a thousandth of what you make a year. Next time I turn on Cribs and 50 Cent doesn't yet own a copy of Scarface to play on the Drive-In Movie Theater Screen in his backyard, I'll shed a small tear and go buy his album.

And I've seen the anti-piracy ads on television. The ones that say, "You aren't just robbing the artist [term "artist" used loosely in cases of Metallica and other crappy-ass bands who come out with the same lame ass songs about how they are in so much pain and they suffer and hot girls want them, but they just hurt too much (yes I'm talking to you, Creed. You too Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Piff Sniffy, whatever your name is now, Biggie's been dead for a while now)] but when you pirate mp3's, you're ripping off the mixers, the producers, all the little people who work so hard to create this CD."

I don't doubt these people work hard. I'm sure they do. That sucks if they get paid a commision on how many copies of Mariah Carey's "Glitter" get sold. But I don't think they do. I'm pretty sure they're paid everything up front before the CD even drops. So if I download music, their paycheck is indifferent, because they got it months ago.

Even if that isn't true, here's a thought. Why doesn't the artist pay them more? Seeing as these people are directly responsible for getting the CD to its distributors and then to the public, they are very important to the process. The artists owe us thanks for buying their crappy-ass album, but they owe those people more for allowing us to have the chance to buy their crappy-ass album. So instead of putting a $11,000 61" wide/flat screen plasma screen television in every room of your house so you never miss the Lakers game, instead of buying five cars when it's only possible to drive one at a tiime, instead of buying a giant grand piano when you don't even know how to play, instead of having your own private airport at your house, why don't you cut the guys who produce your CD or Movie a little bit bigger of a check? That way your greedy ass won't need to worry so much about me and my mp3 of Enter Sandman, because everyone wins.

By the way I just bought GnR's "Appetite for Destruction," the new Guster album "Keep It Together," and the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge. Before buying them, I had downloaded at least three tracks from each. Why buy them? By downloading them I had determined that they were, in fact, not crappy-ass albums. So you want people to buy CDs, make better CDs. And quit bitching that people are stealing from you. Robin Hood stole from rich people and gave to poor people, Napster stole the $0.17 your rich ass would have made off of me buying your album, and gave my poor ass one of your songs. We're not going to feel bad for you.

Now for a fun game. Count the times I used the word "ass" in this post.


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