You're missing my point entirely. My point was not that downloading music illegally is completely unproblematic. I'm saying that the solution is not to try to bash people over the head with the nonsensical notion that downloading music is somehow on the same level as stealing someone's purse or car. It just isn't, and it creates a situation that's quite difficult to take seriously.
Basically, you can't change the direction in which our technology is moving by declaring its use to be illegal. You have to compete and adapt. If you can't, then, I'm sorry, but I honestly don't think you deserve to be a commercial success. Making customers jump through endless hoops and putting endless restrictions on what they can do with the thing they've paid for, just isn't a good business strategy.
There's also a difference between music and costume designs. I mean, not to be down on costume designers, but I don't think there's quite the same interest in and market for the things that they do. It's not just a question of scale, though. Music in particular, but also movies and the likes, are, as pointed out, frequently played on the TV and the radio and so on. It exists in a place where it can't really be said to belong to the artist in the sense of it being something they physical own and control. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that once something is played on the radio it suddenly belongs to the public, but there is a distinct difference, and I think it needs to be taken into account in any serious discussion of the topic. You can't declare two things to be equal when they so obviously aren't.
Walk through a comic or anime convention, or attend a movie like Harry Potter where everyone dresses up likes specific characters from the comics, books, cartoons and films and then tell me that costume designs are not as desired as music.
I'm not saying that a customer who pays for a product can't do with it what they want. I think I already made it clear that they can. They bought it, they own it. Give it away, resell it, make copies for friends if they want. I only said I personally don't make or accept copied music for personal reasons. However, someone that steals an item is not a customer, and they do not have the same ownership rights that purchasing an item gives them. And yes, if if you are copying something that you have no legal access to, you are still stealing it and taking potential revenue away from the artist. Is it unfotunate that you can't get it? Of course. But that doesn't provide a means to rationalizing away stealing it instead.
I think you might be missing my points too, particulary the point I made about TV and radio stations purchasing a license to play the media they broadcast. The very fact that they have to in order to broadcast these things in the first place proves that there is ownership of the product. And a percentage of those licensing fees do get to the artists. An actor friend of mine gets residual checks every time his films are broadcast on a television station, and sometimes, those checks are the difference between making rent or being homeless. Musicians also get residuals when their work is played on a radio station, downloaded from a legitimate site, or purchased in store. So yes, illegal music downloading is as serious as stealing a car, at least in my eyes. You're taking away their income. Some people illegally download thousands of songs. If we're comparing monetary value, eventually it adds up and could equal a car.
However, regardless of the differences in opinion over whether the car and the music are equal in value (because I don't think we'll agree, which is fine), my main point and contention is that the effort
it takes to create artistic work is equal no matter the form. That
is what is truly equal here, what makes my point valid and reasonable, and what seems to have been misunderstood. I'm sorry that I wasn't clear. The end product itself is irrelevant - music, costumes, books, songs, paitings, what have you. The time, effort, and skills used to create them are what matters, and the end result is a work of art that is inherently the property of the artist until they choose to sell some or all of the rights for publication, recording or other means of public exposure. Changing distribution technology doesn't change this, in my opinion, it just, as you said, makes it necessary to adapt and change. And to me, stealing artistic work is worse than stealing a car. A car can be replaced. Stealing artwork is like taking part of the artist themselves. It doesn't matter to me than a song costs much less than a car. Artists deserve to be compensated for their work and effort the same way any other worker in any other profession does. or those of us who aren't Kanye West or Stephen King level successul, it hurts us financially and professionally. That
was my point. My blood, sweat and tears are in my work. It's more than theft to me if it's taken; it's a personal violation of sorts.
I think we're just going to hve to agree to disagree, and I freely admit that my opinion certainly stems from my position as an artist that depends on income from my work to survive. I can't help but see myself, co-workers and friends on the losing end of the illegal downloading cycle. I just can't sanction any activity that is clearly theft in my eyes, no matter how well it's argued that it isn't. But, I do respect that others have a different opinion on this issue, even if I don't agree with it.
edited once again, because I can't type *sigh*