Thursday, April 25, 2013

Arrrrr! Pirates Blow.

Image by: James Barker /
Even if you hermit from social media and internet, chances are you know all about piracy.

Whether it be movies, music, photography or books we're all aware of it. When I was younger, and not a published author, it didn't bother me.

Ever buy an album because there were one or two songs you LOVED only to find that the rest of the cassette sucked? That happened to me frequently, and when Napster came out, I remember thinking it was a good idea. These big rock bands are rolling in money, right? (For the record, I never actually used Napster or sites like it. I was behind the times, and barely knew how to use the internet.)

But it wasn't just big named bands that were targeted. New bands were also victimized. Bands that invested a tremendous amount of time, money and heart into their music, only to have people just click a mouse and take it. Ouch.

Now I'm older and wiser, and worried about my own work and that of others.

I'm just using myself as an example...It takes me a YEAR to write a novel. That's just the first couple of drafts. I stress out over every word. From there, it's edits, marketing, purchasing swag, networking and making contacts, after one finds a publisher and/or an agent (a feat in itself) there's contracts and more edits.

After all this, very few of us make a living at it. And NOW we have to spend time trolling the internet looking for self-entitled jerks who sell or give away our work! I have a brand new sympathy for those short-changed by sites like Napster. And for photographers who spend thousands of dollars on equipment only to not even be credited for their work by people who aren't even aware they've stolen anything. I especially feel for us authors, because I know how much we make for our efforts.

The way I see it now, I'm glad I can buy a single song from iTunes for a mere  $1.29. Beats shelling out for a CD I don't like. Hopefully the artist will make enough money to keep making hit singles instead of getting disgusted   with the business and getting an office job.

I can download, with permission, certain images for free if I'm not using them for personal profit. Like my favorite site (They have reasonable terms and conditions.) But if I think someone's image will sell me tons of books, then yes, I should pay the artist. If I get rich, they should too.

Hard work and talent SHOULD be rewarded. If someone makes millions, maybe it's because they deserve it.

I don't shoplift books from a bookstore, so why would I do it on-line? It would make me a hypocrite. Besides, what's five bucks compared to that of say 10 or 15 dollars for a paperback?

The internet has made it easier for all of us to get paid and to buy creativity for less. Why wouldn't we SUPPORT the work we love instead of starving the artists? Not to mention the behind the scenes people. We're talking JOBS here.

Rant over...I'd like to introduce the author who inspired this post. I love what she did here. Go Nely!

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