To recap: an NPR intern wrote a short weblog post called I Never Owned Any Music To Begin With, where she admits to stealing something like 11,000 songs without paying for them. David Lowery of Cracker wrote a heartfelt and well-thought response called Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered which discusses the economic realities of music piracy. Several rebuttals have been written to Lowery’s article, the best of which is one by Travis Morrison of the Dismemberment Plan: Hey Dude From Cracker, I’m Sorry, I Stole Music Like These Damned Kids When I Was A Kid. Both articles resonate with me, because I truly believe artists need to make money to continue to make music; I use my iTunes account to buy albums I really like, and use the internet to screen the garbage. Morrison’s article also stuck with me, because his experience was identical to mine–taping from the radio, libraries, college radio (I was much too much a chicken to shoplift, though):
Music is so important to people. It is majorly important to young people. And to me? Literally somewhere below water and air but above food. And I just went for it. I bought a lot of music; I got a lot of free music from whatever sources were at hand; I just had to have it by any means necessary. If you duped a copy of a Dismemberment Plan record in college or something, it’s cool. I guess I’d like to have the money, but you know what, I hope you just listened to it with even 1/10 of the consciousness I gave to the music I listened to as a kid–copied, stolen, or bought.