The Continuing Copyright Debate

Do you remember that night, maybe it was in high school, when you felt like you were all alone in the world and you searched your soul for hours for a reason to keep on keepin’ on and couldn’t find one, so you put on that song, the one that always made you feel better for at least a little while, do you remember that song, that moment? The central issue here is what’s that moment worth, and who gets to set the price? (If that moment is worth nothing to you, you’ve got bigger problems than copyright, imo, starting with a severe lack of empathy. It’s called soul, brother, and I sure hope you get some.)

I would argue that the market value of that moment is variable and depends on market conditions, one of which is the availability of limitless virtual copies at virtually no additional cost, and that it is the work’s creators and assigns who should set the price, rather than persons who have not paid for the privilege. I’ve come across many arguments against this, and for me none of them hold water; they all come down to “Waaah, I don’t want to pay for music”. Personally, I feel a virtual copy of a thing is not the thing; it bears as much resemblance to the original as a photograph of the Mona Lisa to the Mona Lisa, and I price my goods accordingly. I consider personal use of my music by my fans to be fair use, but if you use my music to make a nickel, I want a penny. What’s unfair about that?


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