I am a pirate. I pirate all of my music.
I always have since circa 1998 when I realized that Napster was a convenient way to do so.
Prior to my life as a pirate, I purchased about 16 CD's over a ten year period. This meant that I owned (or licenced rights to timeshift; IANAL) a grand total of 187 songs. 41 of those were singles. 71 of them are songs I ever wanted to listen to. 25 are songs I still listen to now.
This cost me a little bit more than $300usd, in 1992 dollars. That might be more like $450 in today's currency. IANAB.
Since then? Well I did buy "Strong Bad Sings" and a few tracks of Lemon Demon.. ~$28 and no DRM. Otherwise I have both downloaded and at times misplaced and lost hundreds of gigabytes of music over the years.
To those who advocate buying CD's, umm.. alright. I still have my original 16, the jewel cases are pretty badly busted up and they make a big messy pile in the upstairs room. I do not recommend that anybody pay $10-$20 for eleven songs on a shiny 6" circle. I humbly submit the virtue of downloading music at a good bitrate (my ears can't tell 44khz wav from 368kbps mp3 except for some extra high pitched noise on the wav) and subsequentally burning 5,000 or so songs onto a shiny 6" DVD-R if you like physical things. Or put them on a thumb drive or san disk, I have mp3 players that read from either one. I no longer own a Sony Discman, it broke.
So, I just wanted to say a little bit about me and introduce myself. I am the evil, nasty, law-breaking pirate that everyone here has been pissing and moaning about and burning in effigy. I would have said "I am A pirate", but I don't see any other ones proudly announcing their presence. Hence I deduce I'm the only pirate in the world.
I am personally responsible for those CD stores that one guy was talking about going out of business. Hell, I might have even torched the places! I don't know, that night was kind of a blur.
I never liked those places anyway, since they didn't sell music I ever would have listened too. Certainly not music I would have ever bled money for.
I'm actually the one that's responsible for the DRM, too. Can you believe it?
Sorry about that, guys. I think the RIAA concluded that the only way to keep me from getting free copies of this music was to hobble absolutely every legitimate purchaser of music with DRM. They don't want you to have a DRM-free copy of Britney Spears, because then they tremble at the thought that I might get a copy too. I don't know if they miss the $300/decade I used to pump into the system, or if they are just livid about the hundreds of thousands of other songs I get now that I never would have paid for one way or the other.
I guess volume dictates that it must be the latter. Didn't someone earlier in this thread make it clear that Piracy is Stealing? I guess that would make more sense then. There are only so many copies of John Tesh's Monterey Nights that can ever possibly exist in the first place, so every time I download one it magically dissapears from a store shelf somewhere! And that poor store had to pay so much money to put that inventory on the shelf to begin with, now the owner is weeping. Oh noes! I misplaced my copy, now I have to pirate it again. This time a web page magically dissapeared from the Wal-mart music store! Who will put a stop to this bloodthirsty pirate, before he hordes all the music ever made?
I dunno. I mean, you could probably come to my house and beat me up or something. The whole "pirate" thing is more of an honorary title to begin with. All I know is that now if I have a song stuck in my head, I can queue it up on the stereo. I'm still poor, but now I don't have to choose between feeding my children and living in silence. If I hear some song that I like, I don't log on to a music store, enter a credit card number, CV2, billing address, telep.........zz....*erhh*, and eventually download a song I have to connect to the internet and give a thumbprint every time I want to play, and only on my desktop computer or approved device. Neither do I walk down to a CD store where everyone already hates me and throws Venti lattes at me to buy the song I want and 12 other songs I don't want for a cool Hamilton.
Nope, I just pop onto the P2P flavor of the year and type the name of the song or the artist. Wait a few seconds and click "download" on the best result. Sometimes I browse around and vacuum up other work by the same artist. Then I shed a silent tear for the kittens god has killed for the indescretion, and all the venti-throwing CD shops that just shut down, all the starving children in China because I didn't finish my supper, and then I rawk owt.
Well, to be honest I only do that last part. As Lemon Demon would put it, I "dance like an idiot".
So, in short, sorry to have screwed things up for everyone else. I know I should be bankrolling the companies who seek to enslave both the listener to DRM and the artist to indentured concert bondage to pay off blank marketing checks, but I'm too weak to resist the siren temptation of simply downloading what I would like to hear.