Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Pirates! or Why Used Record Stores Are Evil (And File Sharers Are Not)
I'm moving. Now is a good time to dump some weight and lighten my load. I've so far sold my bike (which I can't ride due to exercise induced panic attacks), a projector screen and am in the process of selling off some of my cds and dvds. So, I went to the used record store, in this case Cheap Thrills here in Montreal to unburden myself and of course I got shafted. I knew I would be but I need the money and I need to lose the weight. I've also been thinking about Millisong.com and how they've been selling my music, music that I give out for free and it hit me like a ton of bricks; Millisong is basically a used record store, files downloaded for free or a fee and then sold again. Now, Cheap Thrills does the same thing except they sell actual products, physical objects that were the result of lots of hard work and money spent by the artist. The artist of course doesn't see any of this resale money and no one seems to care. Millisong sells ones and zeros that were easily copied and cost nothing to produce. So, is Millisong actually less evil than Cheap Thrills? I really think that that's the case. All that time that I've spent in used record stores, I realized, I've been the in the evil clutches of a monster! Granted, used record stores pay for the merchandise and websites like Millisong.com don't but I think that's more than offset by the the evilness of the resale. As for file sharers, they reap no reward from the "piratery" only the music they cherish. They are "sharers" not "pirates" and all they've "stolen" are 1's and 0's. so, who's the real pirate here? I say those vultures, the used music retailers, re-selling the carcasses of other people's work for their own personal gain and not the file sharers who gain nothing but music. The one thing saving Cheap Thrills form being completely evil is that they sell new music and, as they put it on their website "specialize in jazz, avant garde, experimental and blues" and they do stock copious amounts of local artists. For this they should be commended. But perhaps to make that a viable business model they have to sell the used stuff. The vulturing pays the bills, I suppose so I'll give them a pass. Not all used record stores have so noble a calling and on those I call pirates!