One of the reasons I don’t get the Evils of Piracy thing is because “supporting the artists” falls apart under basically any scrutiny. Like. Maybe this is just because I’ve never had a HUGE amount of money, but I’ve gotten a lot of stuff from second hand stores, used book sales, yard sales, that kinda thing. And when you’re buying a stack of records from a used music sale, or a bunch of cds from the 90s from some guy on the street, you’re not “supporting the artists.” But that action is ok, because you’re still going through this ritualized motion of moving physical objects around in space–move cash objects in one direction, move records in another, make them exchange places, wow, how magical. From the standpoint of “supporting the artist” it’s a meaningless action though.
And that’s of course why we’re seeing this move toward rentals as the way in which we engage art–art is leased to us, not owned by us. That’s why Apple can and will destroy your entire music collection then basically lend it to you as long as you subscribe to their service.
But that’s a technological development. What we haven’t seen is a moral crusade against yard sales. And the fact that we haven’t really demonstrates how hollow the moral argument is. If it was truly a moral issue there would be consistency in the crusade. But it’s not a moral issue. It’s not an ethical issue. It’s an issue of capitalism being broken.