WHO’S THE THIEF?

It’s dusk. A man walks to a locked car. He furtively looks around; coast is clear. He takes a rod, slips it into the car door; within seconds he is into the car. Two minutes   later the car starts – he glances around again, he puts the car into gear and quickly drives away – in a car that does not belong to him.

At about the same time, a different man, sitting in a comfortable house,sips a scotch and decides he’d like to listen to some music. Although he makes a comfortable living, he’d generally not pay for things if he doesn’t have to. He goes to a site on the Internet and downloads some music. He saves the music to his hard drive, so he can listen to it again later. Neither the group that created the music nor the publishers who paid the musicians ever consented to have the music available from this particular Internet site.

What is the difference between these two men? Both are taking something that doesn’t belong to them. Both of them are stealing the labor of others, without compensating the producers. But there is a difference – the man in the first case, while a criminal, has a certain sort of bravery; there is some chance he will be caught and go to jail. The man in the first case realizes he is a thief, while the man who steals the music thinks of himself as a law-abiding citizen. Demographically, there are also some differences. The car thief is more likely to be young and uneducated. The music thief is more likely to be computer literate and formally educated. The second man is more likely to be you.

But ultimately, there is no difference. Both men are thieves.

The people who make the car are not likely to suffer much. It will ultimately be recovered, and, if not, demand will be spurred by the fact that the original driver will have to replace the car that was stolen.But the musicians who spent years developing their talents, and the publishers who took a great risk to market their music, will never recoup the loss they suffer from having their product ripped off. (Did you know that the great majority of intellectual products – books,movies, music videos – lose money?)

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  1. Bert
  2. steven
  3. Viking
  4. Chad R
  5. Laurence Beezley
  6. martin
  7. Jerry Brandt
  8. Ed
  9. Jerry Brandt
  10. stella
  11. David A. Adezio
  12. Dr. J
  13. Steve
  14. jim
  15. Z-Man
  16. Stephen Werner
  17. BeBe
  18. Dave
  19. David Chesler
  20. Michael
  21. corine
  22. Dave
  23. Goldrush
  24. RAD
  25. Peter
  26. Jay Bentley
  27. peakquester
  28. David A. Adezio
  29. Jean
  30. Carlos
  31. Paul Walters
  32. John
  33. Aedcin
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  46. Edward Phillips
  47. Wes
  48. Douglas Guynn
  49. STEVE POLLETT
  50. mary
  51. Christy
  52. Lady9
  53. RIAA and MPAA are crooks
  54. Brian Ford
  55. just a girl...
  56. Janessa Booth
  57. Bonnie
  58. None of your business
  59. Tecnoturc
  60. martin
  61. Myles
  62. arghhhhhhhh
  63. lil'ole'me
  64. Jim
  65. circuslord
  66. Thomas J. Taylor
  67. Dave
  68. Mark Thornton
  69. manc_frank
  70. Music Listener
  71. LosMongoose
  72. Joadrn
  73. Yamum
  74. Patriot
  75. SHANE
  76. danni
  77. daani
  78. Rev †
  79. bigman
  80. Shae Dee Cat
  81. aLLCAPS
  82. Free Yayo
  83. Di
  84. --Anonymous--
  85. Mysteriouse Stranger #2
  86. Mysteriouse Stranger #2
  87. Mysteriouse Stranger #2
  88. Mysteriouse Stranger #2
  89. Mysteriouse Stranger #2
  90. RHJunior
  91. kelly
  92. tomas diaz
  93. shana
  94. Doug Heffley
  95. carlitos
  96. University of Detroit Mercy
  97. Chick
  98. sherhart, MD
  99. Elaine
  100. nscheergrl099
  101. Ellie
  102. Pablo P Picante
  103. Muck Raker Genesis
  104. Bubba
  105. matt
  106. Mary Hines
  107. David Chesler
  108. Tim