I have to say that these last responses were the kind of responses I was expecting while writing that first post, I knew it wouldn't make me exactly popular here, but I think it is important that the "other side" is represented in this argument. I do not primarily consider art as labour, but as an expression, that does not "demand" back anything of material nature, except communication and an exchange of ideas, perceptions and experiences. I'm not infuriated when someone "illegaly" downloads my music, but I am on the opposite very glad, in that it succeeds in finding an audience, in that it succeeds in affecting human beings even in such a small ways. That reflects my personal opinion on how art "should" be, but, of course, the problem (and I acknowledge that) is that not everyone shares it. I wrote in the first post that when someone offers something, then one is entitled to demand "something" back. This "something" is a financial compensation for a lot of people, which is something that even though I don't share, I try to respect, and that's why I still continue to buy (a lot of) albums to this day, as I have clearly stated in the first post (this also applies to software - I have donated to and registered some plug ins that I regularly use, and will soon buy the DAW I have came to use more after a period of experimentation). Is listening to some music that you're not going to end purchasing because you didn't find it good enough that much of a crime? It could be considered as a "spiritual crime" perhaps, but if some guy meets Steve Roach tommorow and tells to the man "Hey, I've downloaded most of your music and I was deeply affected by it, it changed the way I see music" do you think he'll be mad at him? I don't know, I can't speak for the man. But I know that this fan will eventually buy some of Steve Roach's music, because he'll eventually understand that art except expression IS also labour, and if the musician doesn't get back at least of portion of what he gives back to the public, he'll soon cease to do so. And if one doesn't understand this, he should be made so. Not with lawsuits, but with reason. Does this sound idealist and idyllic? Perhaps it does, but its realization constitutes a world that is culturally, artistically and ethically much more advanced, in my personal opinion. Brian Bienowski is correct in that it is not necessary to have everything at your disposal in order to create great art (or, as a "consumer", to be affected on a personal and cultural level) but I think it is obvious that a greater availability only widens these potentials, it doesn't hurt them. It is not necessary to digest all of this art, one can tell soon enough if something's worth your attention (downloading some music works kind of like a preview anyway, like listening to some streaming songs off myspace - if it's not your thing, you'll delete it right away). Of course, all of this has negative aspects as well, overconsumerism being the most obvious one. As Paul Vnuk also said, the amoralism of the generation that has learned to take and never give back is another one. These are major problems that deserve to be fought however, rather than working as an easy excuse to revert to the previous situation.