Such a fantastic article about art, and the theft that takes place when people seek out illegal copies of it.
The Pirate’s life is appealing to us as children, but to grow up and become one – be it on the open seas or on the internet – ruins that part of a person that can appreciate art as something of beauty, and not status.
An artist’s life is a difficult one. We don’t ask for fame and glory… many of us are far too shy to ever want something so invasive. All we want is for our work to be appreciated, for people to show that appreciation by investing in us and in our work.
When I stopped pirating things in college, something amazing happened to me. The act of buying music instead of hopping on a torrent site helped me to develop taste, to learn about the bands I claimed I loved, and to be far more selective in the music I chose to add to my collection. I learned to appreciate what it was I had in my ears. Movies and television shows no longer clogged my computer; having completed this or that season was no longer a status symbol for me, and the media I consumed was for me only, not for my position among other fans. (Did you know GoT is one of the most pirated shows in the history of the internet? Can you imagine what kind of shows the people behind GoT could produce with the money they could have earned through people purchasing GoT instead of stealing it? Can you imagine the stories of those shows, the characters that will never live, the adventures that can never be had?)
If it bothers you to buy artwork, don’t think of it as you spending money on an object that has already been made. Think of it as you investing money into the next big project for the artist. If you enjoyed their song, their story, their digital art piece – think of it as a donation of thanks for those moments the artist gave you. If all else fails, think of it as an art tax – money you spend that goes to helping the arts.
You aren’t paying for an object, you’re investing in the artist’s future. You’re helping the artist change the lives of others through their work, one dollar at a time.
Don’t think of art as a status symbol. Think of it as a personal experience, present and future.
Stop pirating. Stop buying recasts. Stop hunting down bootlegs.