LimeWire’s Parenting Tips: They Still Just Don’t Get It.


Moses Avalon

LimeWire wants parents to know that stealing Is right as long as it’s music.

So, in one of my many news feeds I came across this open letter by a webmaster of LimeWire.In it she still maintains that what LimeWire did was not wrong and implies that her children will continue to use illegal P2P to get their music.

Her children?!?!WTF?

I don’t usually post responses on pages like this but as a parent this time, I could not resist.The bloger wrote that her teenage daughter basically gave her the justification for LimeWire saying, “I think music, like love should be free.”And based on this LimeWire decides to rape an industry for a decade.

Setting aside the reality that love is not truly free, what blows my mind, is that even now that public policy is changing and with the massive defeat in court, this poster, who hasn’t the guts to put his name on the page, still seems to think that there is some way to twist LimeWire’s disgraceful behavior into a moral imperative.Like they are a Robin Hood of sorts, robbing from the rich labels and giving to the, err– well to themselves, in the form of selling millions in advertising.

Whatever. If you want to convince yourself that you’re some kind of folk hero, that’s your prerogative, but to impress upon your children that this is okay, is beyond me.Someday her kids will be grown and the world they grow up in will not think it’s cool to steal music, or anything else for your own personal gain.

The world they will be adults in, in the not too distant future will probably see P2P as a sophomoric and impetuous reaction to the high cost of CDs coupled with the availability of new technology.But, like the anti-war movement of the sixties, history puts extreme radical actions into context. When we look back at P2P, will we think it was cool to delude ourselves that since artists didn’t get the royalties they deserve, we should steal from their record companies and deprive them of what little money they do get, or will we think it was an appropriate reaction to major label incompetence?Will we feel manipulated by ISP propaganda and Electronic Frontier Foundation bullshit into believing that we were not committing a crime when we hit download, despite judgment after judgment, after judgment, and ruling after ruling, after ruling that states to the contrary?

Ask those average joes and janes who have written settlement checks to the RIAA who they are really mad at in ten years.I think you’ll see it won’t be record companies.It will be ISPs, who, just like cigarette companies, led their users to believe that everything is fine, and to feel free to light up, metaphorically.

The ISP/Music biz war is drawing to a close.Now it will be time that puts everyone’s actions into context.I for one believe that history will vindicate much of the RIAA’s nastiness.It will, in context seem like a necessary push pack to an erosion of vital property laws that are the foundation of our capitalist system.This system, for better or worse, is what puts food on our table.

Check out this silly person’s delusional rant, and if LimeWire hasn’t removed it, my comments about her parenting skills.

Your thoughts please.

Oh, and please note LimeWire’s responce to this near the bottom.

36 responses to “LimeWire’s Parenting Tips: They Still Just Don’t Get It.”

  1. ChuckG says:

    Well, as a guy who makes a living from the creation and lawful consumption of music, I think things he owns should likewise be free to me.

    Get his address and when he’s not looking, we’ll just raid his cupboards because, like love, the property of this idiot should be free for our taking!

    Really, will someone FINALLY let me be lifeguard at the gene pool?? I swear, I’d zap this guy’s noogies with enough radiation he’s be shooting dust bunnies from here on out!

  2. mokeb says:

    just to clarify one point: if you were to read a bit further, there actually IS a name attached to the article, and it’s a woman: the writer is Rebecca Eskin

  3. Funkyfreddy says:

    I need a car for my summer vacation, hope Rebecca doesn’t mind if I take hers for a few weeks….

    oh, but it’s OK to steal music but not cars, I get it! It’s OK to steal the products of a musicians labor but not of others, uh huh…. 🙁

  4. JJ says:

    “But, like the anti-war movement of the sixties, history puts extreme radical actions into context.”

    Surely you’re not equating anyone’s effort to stop an illegal war that cost millions of lives with some self-absorbed cowboy pissant who thinks stealing music okay! Next you’re gonna tell me LimeWire is Obama’s Kazaa.

    Poor choice of analogy, amigo.


    A Radical Sixties Anti-War Activist

  5. Val Gameiro says:


    People will come up with the strangest things to justify their misdeeds!

    As an indie filmmaker, I’m struggling with a similar subject, which is how to make a living doing what I love.

    To start off, I have to give my work away, in the hopes that one day, enough people will pay for my movies so I can pay back investors.

    It’s too bad some people are so used to getting stuff free, and don’t value it enough to exchange for it.

  6. Matt says:

    If I steal a car, the person I stole it from is left carless. When I share music, all parties retain copies of the music. The analogies in this thread are flawed.

    Also, numerous studies show that P2P sharing actually increases music sales and concert attendance.

  7. Barry Wood says:

    Music should be free, hmmm… What if I think that advertising on a website should be free? Do you suppose that Limewire would allow me to put my own google ads on their site? But wait a minute, that wouldn’t be fair because they have to pay for hosting services. Kind of like how musicians have to pay for equipment and/or recording services.

  8. Tim Wipperman says:

    Well said Moses. Illegal file sharing has devastated a lot of really good peoples careers, through no fault of their own..Trying to attach some sort of moral justification for your children stealing would be laughable, if were not so sad..tim wipperman

  9. Jon Hartmann says:

    Mo: You are living in the old paradigm. Music is free and it is never going back. The digi-kids believe that if it’s on the web it’s theirs. They have no moral quotient attached to “sharing” music. It does not strike them as “stealing.” No matter how much money the RIAA spends to create a crime out of peer-to-peer file transfers, none exists. So find a new way to monetize recorded music or die with the big four. Pax. Hartmann

  10. John D says:

    I hope you realize that the site you’re talking about “” is probably not associated with Limewire at all. Why would they misspell their own company name in the URL? Also a search for the author reveals no connection whatsoever with Limewire.

    Are you sure you have your facts straight here?

  11. Billy Dojcak says:

    The majority of the artists don’t get paid from music sales. If you own your copyright and control P&D chances are you could make some money. That is, if anyone likes your music.
    The record company makes money from music sales. The “independent promoters” (the mob) make money from the record company via the artist. Anyone who sells music makes money from the sale. Moses makes money from the record companies again via the artist.
    If you are signed to a major record company and sell millions of units you probably will make some money. If you don’t write your own material you have to rely on touring and merchandise to make a living.
    Musicians do not receive a penny when a cd is resold nor when a cd is borrowed from the library.
    The record companies had plenty of time to adjust to the ‘new digital media’. They chose to ignore it and continued to peddle substandard product. The death of the single didn’t help them either.
    Don’t you get it??? People want what they can easily acquire. Again, I still buy tons of music, but when it’s easier for me to get a hard to find track at 3am then I’ll do what I have to do.

  12. Justin B says:

    I met with a mastering engineer from Brazil a few months ago and we talked about this subject briefly. According to him, downloading music and file sharing is not a concept his country has grasped. The Itunes store isn’t available. The majority of sales come via 5.1 DVDs… all live concerts. He masters 15 to 20 live concert DVDs a month so there is huge demand for it. What’s interesting is that piracy there is just as bad. The black market sales of DVDs are killing the profits for the labels and artists. Just goes to show that this problem will never go away.

    A friend of mine is a huge movie fan and she purchases/rents several a month. She tried to justify her illegal downloads of movies by saying “I spend almost a hundred dollars a month so every now and then I download a few for free”. ??? That’s like me saying “I spend nearly $130 a month on gas so maybe once a week I should do drive-off”.

    Sure, some file sharing does actually help sales but use that as an argument for illegal downloading and sharing is absurd. It ultimately hurts everyone in the biz, and it’s fans.

  13. My comment will be brief to make room for what I hope are thousands of comments just like mine.

    The reality of our society today is that technology makes it easy to steal digital works. Software, Music, Video, Graphics, and even the written word are plagiarized like never before.

    The only solution is education. Associations like the RIAA and groups like them must inform the consumer of the costs involved in the production and marketing of music.

    It is almost logical for a consumer who has never picked up an instrument, let alone walked into a recording studio to assume the creation of music is as ‘free’ as the acquisition of it.

    If you take a close look at the quality of music that is considered ‘pop’ today and you compare it to music created twenty years ago or more you will see the obvious effect the digitization of media has had in general.

    I truly believe that our President could make a huge difference here by doing the Artistic community a huge favor and simply mentioning it. The theft of digital media is a multi billion dollar problem. Globally could it be in the trillions? We really will never know.

    In summary, for those of us that agree it is about education, let’s calmly, ethically, and bravely begin educating everyone we know that file sharing is a clever phrase for ‘file stealing’ which we have laws against.

  14. Fuzzbucket says:

    “If I steal a car, the person I stole it from is left carless. When I share music, all parties retain copies of the music.”

    So using that argument, it would be okay if I hooked up your wife or girl friend cuz she still has her sex organs.

  15. I was asked to speak to a youth group class that was studying ethics about music downloading. Several, but not all, of the youth were arguing for the right to download music without paying for it. The analogy I used was finding a new car in a dealer lot with the keys in it. I asked them if they had a right to take the car just because they could. One young man replied, “Well, if they are stupid enough to leave the keys in their cars, why not?”

    Before I went to law school, I was a music buyer at a retail store. One of my jobs was to order “sample packs” of seasonal musicals (Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, etc.). Those packs included a single folio of the musical and a commercial recording of the musical at a reduced overall price so choir directors could evaluate them before deciding which one to purchase for their group.

    I routinely put a brochure into each shopping bag of choir and choral directors on copyright infringement published by the Church Music Publishers Association ( I had a regular customer who came in every season and picked up a sampling of all of the new musicals. She did not, however, ever follow up with an order for her choir. I assumed that she was photocopying the printed music, and perhaps copying the cassettes or CDs.

    On one visit she brought another lady with her and they spent some time selecting musical sample packs. They came to the counter and as I was bagging up their merchandise, I put one of the brochures in the bag. The customer’s friend said, “Hey, what’s that?” and pulled the brochure out of the bag and opened it up. The customer immediately took the brochure out of her hands, slid it across the counter toward me and said, “Don’t read that, it will make you feel guilty.”

    All that to say that it does not matter what the threatened penalty is, how much education is undertaken, or what segment of society one is dealing with, there are always those who believe that the capability (technically, physically, etc.) to do something equals a “right” to do that thing. Unfortunately, the only way to adequately impress the seriousness of the theft on the intractable is to either resort to imposing the penalty consistently or hoping that the individual will mature enough to realize that their illicit practice is harming other individuals and care enough to stop.

  16. Julian says:

    Hi Moses,

    I love the site and your books and your energy for the industry. This post however left me wondering if you’re paying attention.
    The author is names under the article. Her name is Rebecca Eskin. Ahh, I see that someone has pointed this out above.

    [yes Julian, and I responded to them. Her name was added after i posted. Mo]

    Anyway, I see your point however we all know this now. Each person has a choice to steal or not to.. and face the consequences. At the moment, I see there’s more of a shift toward actually buying the music people download – iTunes is big business, as you’ve said yourself.
    The industry is changing and while this author has painted a poor picture of her child’s attitude (and her lack of reaction to it) she did stear back toward an industry movement perspective at the end, which you may not have described in yoru post.

  17. Andy Steinborn says:

    Through the sixties and seventies I watched record companies screw the artist blind. I made more money in studio time recording than I ever did in royalties. Now I produce my own digital music and I hope that enough people will like it and purchase it. So what if the little girl’s daddy was a starving musician or a composer? I wonder what she’d feel then when she came home to an empty fridge because all the little free spirit idiots decided they wanted to take without paying…..

  18. Tiffany says:

    Good afternoon,
    Tiffany with LimeWire here. I’m posting to clarify on the open letter (found at this address: Download Line Wire – that is referenced in the article above.
    This blog is not affiliated with LimeWire in any way. The webmaster is not affiliated with LimeWire, and we feel that it is important to point out that her beliefs do not reflect those of the company.
    If you’d like to read our official blog, please do. Our Music Blog can be found at and our company blog can be found at
    Thank you.

  19. Tom Zink says:

    (This was posted at the articles blog site, but we’ll see if they actually clear it.)
    Of course for independent jazz artists like myself, the internet is a great resource and has provided many great opportunities, but here is something that might not have occurred to Rebecca. Since my music appeals almost exclusively to those over 30 (or 40) it might seem like piracy doesn’t affect me. However, all of us in the jazz world (and all “less popular” genres) required profitable record companies that were willing to subsidize the smaller niches. With dropping profits, that has disappeared. Warner Bros completely eliminated their jazz division as have many others.
    I’ve spent thousands of my own $ producing and promoting my music, and to imagine that we should sanction the attitude that “music like love should be free”, is heartbreaking. Whether it’s easily demoniz-able mega corporations like Sony or individual starving artists like myself, fostering a societal attitude that says “I have a right to take what you have worked hard, and spent well to create” is highly destructive on so many levels that it is difficult to know where to start. The economic impact to me (as a full time artist/Grammy nomiated arranger/producer) who counts on a thriving industry to survive has been devastating. Unfortunately this is a lose/lose situation as a group of children is growing up believing that stealing the fruits of my hard work is OK. Shame on any parent that throws up their hands and says “oh well kids will be kids” instead of taking the moral challenge of theft seriously. It takes only a passing knowledge of history to know that this parental laziness will come back to bite all of those who partake of it.

    PS – on this blog, I’ve noticed that no-one who advocates piracy has dealt with any substanative issues, instead justifying with “record co’s are thieves”, or some sort of “get with the future” argument. Pathetic.

  20. UB says:

    there are some truths here, but what about the guy who bought all those old school records and need mp3s now? can’t they download the songs that they ALREADY PAID for? and i have no sympathy for the record companies. they should have been the ones in the fore front of the online downloads but they slept on it. they do have software that can render a song useless if it’s downloaded or copied so what’s up with that?

  21. Atticus Cage says:

    Thank you for the article, Moses.

    What would really help bring clarity, and don’t hold your breath given the nature of post modernity’s humans, is an en masse adoption of the impossible: a clear moral language, especially since this whole debate is essentially, categorically about morality.

    Yet I see little evidence that overly self-centered, lazy, entitlement-minded, relativistic members of the human race (and there are plenty of us) are much interested in any level of dialogue which will demand that each of us dump his or her untoward appetites for weaseling and doing wrong before the conversation can even begin.

    You rightly inquire as to what kind of world “Rebecca’s” kids will grow into. And while I hope you are correct that THEY will be the culpable outcasts (to the extent that they exercise her current values) I believe your surmise may be discouragingly incorrect. And debilitating to the aspirations of would be creative types pondering a career in such an easy-to-pilfer forum.

    And for crying out loud, the miscreants who post studies about how stealing leads to prosperity aren’t just missing they thrust of the problem they are exacerbating it.

    And for some reason people like you and I are surprised that those given to barbaric values then then express themselves as such in response to points like yours and mine.

    Thanks again.

  22. M says:

    The labels are angry about illegal P2P, but on the other hand they don’t seem to be doing much to fight the easier battles, like take down US based mp3 sites. There are so many of them using US hosting companies, that I wonder how much real investigating is going on. For example, check out what –wallywashis DOT name– (I don’t want to give the thieves any traffic!) offers. Major releases! It seems a bit strange that the labels are trying to fight sites like PirateBay, which are usually based in other countries, when they can’t even shut down the thieves inside the US.

  23. Harry Kopy says:

    I equate illegal P2P to walking into a local record shop, and stashing CD’s under you shirt, then walking out without paying.
    I understand that folks have albums, CD’s etc that they’d like to transfer to MP3…so, go ahead and BUY the software that allows you to do this with the music you already BOUGHT (not unlike the money musicians spend on instruments, equipment, software etc, to make that very music that you want for free) and transfer the music to whatever format you want, yourself!

  24. Judy says:

    I sent this from my son to the webmaster who is keen to let her teenage daughter provide a moral compass so she can justify stealing. At the time we thought it was a man who wrote the article thus it is referring to her “dad”. They didn’t post it but thought you would enjoy.

    I am in junior high and I was wondering if your teenager could answer my question.
    My dad makes his living as a songwriter. He works hard and I am really proud of him. Your dad takes that song that my dad wrote and adds it to the other songs on his website which other dads and moms worked hard all day writing. Your dad makes a lot of money because he can sell ads on his website that people come to in order to get the songs that my dad wrote. Only my dad doesn’t get any of the money for the song. I get it. We studied about that in my history class, my teacher called it something like slavery and I thought she said they stopped it but I will let her know she was wrong.

  25. Cathy M says:

    As an artist and publisher I can only hope that someday “Rebecca’s” children are artist or publisher and their copyright is infringed upon. Maybe then it will be stealing to her.

  26. RYQ says:

    As an anthropologist I can understand that this is a complex social and economic issue. I have a suggestion that might help…

    Someone needs to present a report on the top earning artists from many fields- Pop, Country, Metal, Jazz, Dance, Rap, World, etc, etc, etc- that outlines their sources of income.

    A transparent presentation of this material should be made available to the public. This will demonstrate to people how file sharing affects different artists.

    I predict the effects will be different for artists in different segments of the music industry.

    We might find that certain artists, like those who rely on live performance will have benefitted from file-sharing, while those artists who rely on album sales will have been negatively effected.

    Perhaps not, I’m not sure. I’ve read Mo’s books and have been following the problem since its dim beginnings, but I’m still not entirely certain I have a clear view on how exactly file-sharing affects DIFFERENT artists DIFFERENTLY.

    Talking about complex issues with simple analogies often glosses over essential details inherent in the problem.

    • Moses Avalon says:

      I’m thankful I have educated readers, but frankly RYQ, doing such a study is akin to surveying the top supper market chains to see if stealing apples off their shelves effects their revenue from apple sales. Its obvious that it does. While one could argue to what extent the harm such theft inflicts, such an argument would be sublimely academic. The answer is who fucking cares? Its still stealing. And it’s still wrong, no matter how “necessary” some poeple think it is in order to make a statement. We’re a nation of laws, not the Wild West where might makes right.

  27. RYQ says:

    What I was implying was not a possible justification for illegal file-sharing. Instead I was hoping to point out that different artists might need to recognize that there is room for more than one business model for an artist to be succesful. Illegal file-sharing is here to stay, and it should stay illegal because it is stealing.

    However, a study like the one I suggested would show the public how file-sharing is hurting artists. It might also suggest new business models for future artists that would mitigate the problem of file-sharing.

    So, I didn’t mean to suggest illegal file-sharing could be validated by a survey of artists’ income. I meant to suggest that by being transparent about it we might inform the end-user about the whole process and offer certain artists more effective business models (which might actually include file-sharing to increase income).

    The analogy of the apples only glossed over the complexity of the issue. While it is true that illegal file-sharing is stealing, a survey of how people generate income is not as useless as seeing if stealing apples affects the revenue of apple sales. This wouldn’t be sublimely academic, it would be very practical for all parties involved.

  28. NURREDIN says:

    I disagree with people who use Limewire and other sites like it. Do you work for free? When you do your forty hours you do expect a paycheck don’t you? Why should creative workers be any different? If you like my music, then buy it! Downloading music without paying for it is theft. I’m not doing this just so I can get heard on the radio and end up homeless! I’ve got almost $100k invested in my studio, and I didn’t make that investment to give away the product that comes out of it. When McDonald’s makes a million dollar investment in a new restaurant, do you expect them to give away every hamburger they make? Then why should I give away every song I create? I really don’t care about what happens to thieves. If you break into a clothing store and steal all their merchandise, to me it’s no different than stealing all of my merchandise off the internet. It’s still theft! I ain’t in this for the fun of it. If I create a product that people want ,they should pay for it. I’d love to see these people get a little jail time. A thief is a thief, whether they use a gun or filesharing.

  29. Despite the fact that many people who defend their theft of music do so by saying “I’m sticking it to the big record companies” the truth is that those of us who are creators and copyright holders know that it’s mostly those of us who are struggling recording artists — who try to survive from week to week — who see the drop-off in revenue, not just “rich record companies” or “rich artists.”

    As for the ridiculous canard about “piracy is never gonna stop, anyway” the truth is that people respected artists and musicians until they saw how easy it was to steal via the internet. And it WILL be a difficult job to teach a new generation what that theft causes to hard-working creators and copyright holders, but it WILL happen, and eventually, people will realize again that musicians have to pay rent, utilities, and for food, too, and that we cannot when our work is stolen.

    The other major comment that needs to be refuted is (3) “when I copy music, all parties retain copies,” overlooks the fact that it is the personal sale, one by one, that makes money for an artist. If you have a car, or clothing you design, or you’re a furniture builder, there’s only one car (or ring or chair) to sell. A recording (or movie) can only make money for the creator when only THEY have the right to make copies for sale. When someone other than the creator copies it for others, the creator loses each potential sale. This is why the crucial thing here is called “copyright” -only the creator possesses the legal right to copy it.

    And @UB — I have no problem with you buying my (beautifully produced and packaged) CD’s (which I worked on for YEARS and in such a state of poverty that there were days when I lived on little more than three bagels a day — one each for breakfast, lunch and supper, because I could buy three for $1) and putting it onto your own iPod. Hell — you’ll miss having the cover art to look at, and the credits to read — but OK, as far as I’m concerned, if you BUY it, I’m personally willing to allow you to put my CD on any media you choose for your personal listening experience. My greater concern is when someone either initially obtains it by illegally downloading, or when someone makes numerous copies they give away to others — that’s when I really, REALLY take issue with their violating my copyright.

  30. J.Hancock says:

    May I play devils advocate for a minute? It always seems odd to me that musicians scream bloody murder at the abuse of their copyrights when they are so busy screwing themselves over that I’m surprised they have time to notice.

    I don’t know what the live music industry is like in the U.S. but in the U.K. hundreds of thousands of bands and musos play every night of the week across the country for absolutely free. Not only that but they beg and plead promoters for the chance to do so. This desperate hankering for recognition is just tragic.

    I’m talking about grass roots stuff here but its all part of the same ball game. Young musicians themselves are giving everything they do away for free while at the same time downloading the foo fighters discography torrent from Vuze. This form of consumption comes from a completely different moral standpoint that, like it or not, will set the precedent for the future of the industry.

  31. Mooka says:

    In this country we have or should I say had a long tradition of copyright law. Have you ever heard of the “canary in the coal mine” syndrome? To have a whole generation of youth who believe you get “something” for NOTHING is absolutely insane!!! This is far more reaching than music p2p illegal downloading. Songwriters,labels,recording studio’s,etc. and there loved ones? This has had devastating consequences and because the illegal downloading culture does not see the real face of their actions they are numb and blind to the pain it has wreaked!! Really think about this as the years roll by!! I support any and all legal means of shutting down illegal downloading. I also support the reeducation and training that art is not a by product of a disposable culture but a true blood,sweat and tears intention to bring joy and happiness to peoples lives. To thrive as a culture the artists must be paid!!! The lack of respect and the lack of humility will carry over to any and all parts of a supposed civilized society!! It already has. If you haven’t been noticing then you should sit on the deck of the titanic and enjoy the icebergs.

  32. tomo says:

    Just something that came to mind while reading all these posts… As far as I know, for many artists in the not too distant past, art was a past time that the wealthy engaged in or patronized or was practiced by driven people who sometimes lived their whole lives in poverty. Everyone else was too busy trying to scrape a living out of whatever manual labor they could find that other people would pay for. In time, it became possible to recreate art works such as books and paintings and even music so that the masses could also consume art if they had the money for it. As the price to reproduce and distribute art fell, the wider the possible audience grew. But to say that even downloading “free” music is free denies the reality that many people in the world do not have computers or internet connections which still cost money. If the RIAA really wanted to create a new funding stream, they should go after the place where the “free” downloaders still have to spend money to get access to music. Sales of machines that access and can share files on-line as well as ISPs that provide access. If they can include the cost of music in the cost of internet connections or downloading of information, then the ISPs can provide easy free music for their consumers, pay the musicians to provide content, cut out the music industry where they are not needed anymore, such as distribution and reproduction except for the high end consumers or devoted fans who want the art work, the physical CD, extras from their artists. No doubt this will shrink the profits of large music industry companies but may also create new businesses which provide filtering services to the public based on their personal musical tastes (such as pandora)or on some rating scale where critics will get paid for having good taste in music and recommending new artists. I guess it depends on if the point of life is to make art or to make money and how much more money should artists make than people who provide a certain standard of living for everyone such as janitors, farm laborers, garbage collectors. If the point of life is to become rich, then even the most talented artist may have to become a doctor or lawyer or these days a wall street banker or politician.

  33. tomo says:

    just one more thing…
    if you have time, please comment on this article.

  34. Patrick Landreville Bald Ego Music says:

    To those believing that copyright infringement is not theft I would advise you to read the following legal definitions:

    Theft: “Unlawful acquisition of property with intent to convert to taker’s use and appropriation by taker.”

    Appropriate: “To make a thing one’s own; to make a thing the subject of property; to exercise dominion over an object to the extent, and for the purpose, of making it subserve one’s own proper use or pleasure.”

    Infringement: “A breaking into; a trespass or encroachment upon; a violation of a law, regulation, contract or right. Used especially of the invasions of the rights secured by patents, copyrights, and trademarks.”

    Property: “Everything which is the subject of ownership, corporeal or incorporeal, tangible or intangible, visible or invisible, real or personal; everything that has an exchangable value or which goes to make up wealth or estate.”

    Personal Property: “Personal property is divisible into (1) corporeal personal property, which includes movable and tangible things, such as animals, ships, furniture, merchandise, etc.; and (2) incorporeal personal property, which consists of such rights as personal annuities, stocks, shares, patents, and copyrights.”

    Definitions: Black’s Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition, copyright 1957 West Publishing Co.

    (I used definitions from a 1957 edition of Black’s to illustrate that this is not a new idea in response to the current mass infringement but has existed as a legal concept for quite some time.)

    Music falls under the heading of “intangible or incorporeal” property. When an unlawful copy is made that is an appropriation of property, the property being the information, that is the music, contained in the original. That information, though intangible, is the actual property of the copyright holder. Regardless of the fact that when a digital copy is made the original may still exist, intact, in the owners possession, property has been appropriated. Hence unlawful copying, or copyright infringement, is in fact legally defined as theft.

    For further clarification: if you are under the impression that when you legally buy a CD, tape, vinyl or digital version of a song that you have actually purchased the music contained therein and therefore may do what you wish with it, I assure you that is not, and never has been, the case. Since the beginning of recorded music what the consumer actually purchases is the physical media on which the music is encoded and a limited licence to use the music within certain legal restrictions. The music itself remains the property of the copyright holder.

    In light of what you’ve just read, I appeal to you to retire the use of the nonsensical argument that infringement is not theft.

    Patrick Landreville
    Bald Ego Music

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