Really interesting little story playing out up NPR way — an intern wrote a blog about her music-acquisition habits. You’d say music-buying, but she doesn’t do that. She just…has it, and she hasn’t paid for very much:
I am an avid music listener, concertgoer, and college radio DJ. My world is music-centric. I’ve only bought 15 CDs in my lifetime. Yet, my entire iTunes library exceeds 11,000 songs.
You can read a lot more at the two links above, but I think the best of it was this thoughtful response from David Lowery at the Trichordist, “a community blog for those interested in contributing to the advancement of an Ethical Internet, and the protection of Artists Rights in the Digital Age.” (Capitalization obviously not mine.) It’s long, but it’s worth the read, because he takes apart the intern’s argument pretty effectively:
The existential questions that your generation gets to answer are these:
Why are we willing to pay for computers, iPods, smartphones, data plans, and high speed internet access but not the music itself? Why do we gladly give our money to some of the largest richest corporations in the world but not the companies and individuals who create and sell music?
This is a bit of hyperbole to emphasize the point. But it’s as if:
Networks: Giant mega corporations. Cool! have some money!
Hardware: Giant mega corporations. Cool! have some money!
Artists: 99.9 % lower middle class. Screw you, you greedy bastards!
Congratulations, your generation is the first generation in history to rebel by unsticking it to the man and instead sticking it to the weirdo freak musicians!
I don’t think Emily, the NPR blogger, will know what hit her, but she — and a lot of other people — need to hear this. I gave my students last term a reading assignment about Kim Dotcom, an obscenely rich jerkoff who’s made his dough on sites that hold huge files, no questions asked. I’d never heard of the guy; they all had, and many had accounts on his site. I just don’t get it. Or maybe I do — they don’t have a lot of spending money, but somehow they’ve gotten their priorities screwed up. Lowery nails it: Spending for the hardware isn’t a problem, but the rest of it should be free.
While we’re on the subject of digital matters and stealing, I was surprised to see myself turn up in this piece about Jonah Lehrer, someone I hadn’t even heard of until this week, when he was accused of self-plagiarizing, i.e. rerunning his own work for multiple paying clients. And why would he do this? I think this Slate piece gets to the point: He’s not really a journalist, but an “idea man.” Some people look at a mop and see a high-paying corporate lecture; I look at a mop and say, time to clean the floor.
Let’s wrap up with a T-Lo post, what they might call your daily pretty: Mrs. FLOTUS looking like a million bucks.