Friday, September 19, 2003

My good friend Lee is a practicing attorney and an expert on intellectual property law. He also represents bands and plays in his own band in Chicago. He sent me an email regarding the RIAA rant (below). Lee has insight and experience on these matters, so I'm running his email here:

"I think that your RIAA rant is incredibly insightful with respect to the bargaining position and general struggle of young artists, but I just don't agree with your ultimate position on file sharing. To me it's still stealing, and to suggest otherwise is to rebuke the notion of copyright altogether, something granted under the Constitution. The best way to fight the current system is to spend dollars on artists that are not part of it rather than those that are. For better or for worse, it's not just talent that made Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, and Fiona Apple famous; it was somebody's marketing $$$ and savvy. Anyway, that's my rant, albeit an abbreviated one. And by the way, the nine foot rodent (I like your ROUS reference) discovery is kick ass. Peace brother, Lee"

In response, I do want to say that stealing from wealthy recording industry types does not "rebuke the notion of copyright altogether" anymore than any other act of theft rebukes the notions of property ownership. Copyright was designed to encourage creation by rewarding the creator with rights to copy, sell, etc. Can it really be argued that if kids steal from Hollywood big-wigs that people will just give up and stop making music? Will people stop forming bands? How about if the law is changed to say that some rights to the creation cannot be exploited by third parties? How about changing the law to align the fines levied to something resembling human reason? Or how about the good old fashioned notion of stealing from the rich and umm... just because they don't need as much as they have? I mean, can't Adolpho the pool boy come over four times a week instead of five?

Lee, send me the link to whereever your band sells your music, and I'll post it here! and Peace to you to, my man.


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