Music and copyright (or copywrong) – rethinking my beliefs

I am writing this whilst listening to Brooke Fraser on youtube over and over and over and over again. Basically on repeat.

Many songs, but not so many, many times she could’ve got a profit of some sort. I think I’ve been listening to about four at the most from her Albertine album which I have not bought, but am most likely going to buy now after listening to her music here. Ahh youtube, you do do wonders for the music industry. If not affording the artists a profit from allowing the free distribution [and copy] of their work, it gives them absolute exposure on the best musical network today – youtube, who google bought of course.

Brooke Fraser is fantastic. Just listen to this song. It’s nearly blowing the speakers on the headphones.

Recently I lost a CD wallet of mine, had 48 pockets in it, wasn’t filled right up though, but dang it, I lost it!! Having a organisational inclination, this CD wallet was orderly and in rough genre order. I also have enough CD’s in my posession to divide my music into two wallets, NZ musicians and everyone else. This is actually the second time round I have misplaced/lost/missed my CD collection. A few years ago I had my life’s collection of CD’s stolen in a break-in. Approximately two grand worth would you believe. This actually destroyed me and I cried. A music collection is so incredibly personal to any one individual. Golly am I dribbling on or what?!

Anyway, on with the real point. With this loss of music (which is very important to me of course as you can gather), I’ve begun to think about my belief of not copying music, the respect of the sacred industry of the tangible music format, production, and how it may be time to review my personal policy on music copyright.

Currently, my policy on music copyright is not to copy New Zealand music, but others are ok as I don’t really care about looking after someone’s musical career when they are not from my homeland. Don’t get me wrong, I do buy music, in CD format in fact. I must be one of the only people of my age left, who still does this. It’s the artwork and production of the format that I am buying. The work that has gone into this very effort is huge.

I have made variations on this policy however to make myself feel better after finding I hold and receiving from family, a couple of burnt copies of New Zealand artists. I adjusted my policy to state that I won’t copy NZ music if I myself haven’t bought the CD before, or if a core family member already has it. I know all this sounds stupid, but I think, in the consumer-driven-click society that we live in today, my policy is quite sound. Again, note that I still buy CD’s all the time. Over the past couple of years I have begun to download and copy international artists music; download shit quality from peer to peer sites, and copy from acquaintenances that have bought the CD.

Sadly, I have started to do this with library owned music that I have borrowed. Other people must do this too. It’s not just me. I feel like I’ve let myself and my morals down by engaging in this activity. After all these years of respecting the art of producing music to sell in a tangible format, I’ve gone against it. Damn.

To end with, I’d like to point to that fantastic song again, by Brooke Fraser of course, if you didn’t click on it before – C.S Lewis song. It’s an amazing uplifting song with a message, brilliant writing and performing as well.

I am going to buy this album. On CD.

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