overground scene

Piracy is killing music…so is death metal!

Having just returned from Richard Stallman’s talk at the University of Sussex, loads of thoughts fill my head, on the feasibility of a free society and free economy, on free source and free knowledge as a human right, on the tendency of people to exploit such systems and values for personal gain and, eventually, on human nature. As to the latter, I remember from my days of youth when people where not that obsessed with copyright laws, that sharing music by copying records to cassettes, cassettes to cassettes, cds to cassettes (ending up with 10th generation versions of albums) was the most natural and unquestionable thing to do. Even record store owners did it for their customers. Of course, record store owners charged a lot.

Then again I remember feeling proud if I owned something really obscure. In some cases I would go to extremes to be the sole owner of a record. One time I went to a “friend’s” house carrying a small magnet and erased a cassette he had of Dismember because I didn’t consider him worthy of listening to them. A schoolmate was very proud of his shitty Warlord “best of” album that he would share the same 5 songs off the record with the rest of us and keep the rest to himself…

However, I think that generally the ethic of sharing is far stronger than those isolated incidents of pride. Now, whether this behaviour reflects a necessity or a moral norm is uncertain, but worth finding out. According to Stallman it is a moral duty. I have my reservations. In any case, for those who are trying to convince us that piracy is killing music I would like to draw their attention to the back cover of Venom’s first album which has the amazing slogan “Piracy is killing music, so is Venom”! Almost two decades later Benediction did the same with their Organised Chaos album. Piracy is not killing music but may be killing the music industry and, to quote Stallman, “I hope it will”.

p.s. One of the most hillarious cases of disregard for copyright laws is the intro of the original Morbid Visions by Sepultura (cogumelo producoes), which is Carmina Burana by Carl Orff! That intro was erased from future copies.


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