Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution
Subject:   peer to peer file sharing
Date:   2003-06-11 00:21:48
From:   anonymous2
Response to: peer to peer file sharing

"I for one have been using Kazaa and [the] like for over 2 years and have [not bought] a CD, DVD or book since"

As the article points out, people in your position often eventually grow into paying customers. Had file-sharing services been around when I was at school, I would have taken the same position as you.

But now I'm a little older, in the work-force and making good money. As a consultant who bills by the hour, I am constantly putting a dollar-value on the time I spend doing mundane activities. I ask myself for example, "Why should I spend an hour painting the hallway when I could pay someone $20/hr to do it and spend the time doing billable work for $100/hr?" The issue isn't the money. If I enjoyed housepainting as much as my work it might be a fun diversion.

Similarly, I'd rather pay to download MP3s with consistent quality, accurate tags, etc., then spend the time doing the cleanup myself.

I currently subscribe to several services including and PressPlay. I go to them first for content because the quality of service is higher than P2P. Note: I would not give them one cent, however, if it wasn't for the fact that as an engineer I was able to crack the DRM schemes and convert the content to MP3s. It's not that I have any interest in pirating their content. I just want the ability to exercise my fair use rights, including keeping copies of the files on the numerous computers my family and I use.

I'm sure for every person like me, there are ten others who would also be willing to hand over their money but are unable or unwilling to spend the time to figure out how to get the flexibility out of these services that would justify the cost.