If illegal downloads usually led to the music being purchased soon after, there would be no controversy and none of us would be complaining about the technical illegality of the downloads.
The reason there's a problem is that far more often, the illegal downloads PREVENTS a sale of the music afterward.
I know, but I am not talking about this case, am I talking about the, perhaps, unfrequent case that I'm describing, which applies to me, as someone who still continues to at the same time, download and buy music without a decrease in volume. The real question I believe, is not if illegal downloading affects the sale of cds (we know that it is a negative affect) but if it is worth propagating against it and persecuting the people that are carrying it out. For all of the reasons that I have described, I do not share this opinion.
In this situation, you have 2 listeners enjoying the recording as if they "own" it, and yet only 1 copy has been purchased from the artist.
I see no problem about this. The artist has been paid for this very copy, and what happens is that the act of buying (sorry if I'm not not making sense, but neither English or law is my forte) is transferred to some other man. The seller, has accomplished his due towards the artist and does not hurt anyone if he keeps a rip of the cd certainly. The buyer however, should have bought a copy directly from the artist rather than buying this used cd. He's much more liable than the seller for the problem, in my book.
And if an album is out of print, and yet freely available as an illegal download, then there is little chance that sufficient demand for a re-release will ever occur. Prior to file sharing, there would be significant demand for reissues of certain out of print recordings (remember the early FAX label releases?) which usually led to a legitimate reissue. If no such demand ever builds back up (because everyone who wants the recording just downloads it on bittorrent), then such reissues will not happen, and in that sense also, the artist and/or label has been harmed.
I'm unsure that this happens in all cases. Sometimes, an unheard album at its time will be "re-discovered" through the file sharing networks and get hyped up, which will end up in the record being re-released. I'm aware of many such cases, especially in the rock/metal underground, which has been among my main "fields" in the past. In any case, personally I'd be glad to buy a re-release of a long out of print record that I have once downloaded, as with any other music.
This just keeps coming down to: I want to own what I want, I deserve it and it should fit my personal model economy.
Please try not to attribute to me things that I never said. I don't know if I deserve it, but I want it, that's certainly true. And in fact, what I'm trying to do is to compromise my desire as to not allow it have a negative effect on the world. Essentially, to provide my final argument, I believe that this approach only strengthens good art: taking into consideration that the amount of money I spend on music has remained stable because of my economic needs as a human being, illegal downloading has allowed me to make a much better selection of the records I was going to buy, in comparison to buying blindly or relying on short samples, thus providing with financial support artists that consequitively deserve it more. Essentially, as pretty much everything, downloading is a tool that can be used for a good and a bad purpose. I know that its hard for everyone to comply with this and that currently it is abused rather than used, but one can only hope, and try to actively change the world by voicing his/her opinion.
The BIG winner in this downloading p2p (etc) frenzy is the BIG internet companies who simply sell access to downloadable files by bandwidth. They are the new capitalists. They of course WANT plenty of free stuff available to download. It's straight money to them.
Very correct, this is why I never was a rapidshare premium member or any other websites of that sort. There are file sharing programs that do not demand subscription, have ads, or any sort of commercial attributes though. Uhh, enough for today...