I am responding to the recent editorial: “Top 40 hits – for free”. I got the impression that the author was advocating that the music industry get with it and adapt to technology. The reason the music industry needs to change is that people are stealing their work.
I think the more appropriate call is not for the music industry to change, but for people, especially students at BYU (“Thou shall not steal”) to stop downloading music from the Internet. I realize this is like me trying to put my hand in the Mississippi river to get it to stop, but just because everyone does it does not make stealing right.
The author gives short rift to the responsibilities of the public: “This is not a cry against musicians who want fair payment, and I’m not saying copyrights don’t matter. I’m not saying we are entitled to free music that musicians work hard to make.” Not only are we not entitled to free music, we have a moral responsibility to not download music that we are not paying for.
I fully realize that most people don’t like (or maybe don’t understand) copyright laws. But this a democracy. If you don’t like the laws, lobby your elected officials to change them. Right now copyright law gives authors the exclusive right to license their work for life plus 75 years. I think this is ridiculous. But just because I don’t agree with the law does not give free reign to break it.
So I urge everyone that has stolen from the music industry to repent and mend their ways.