…well, not real pirates. This is a challenge – partly for fun, mostly for real – to those who find themselves undecided (or maybe strongly decided) about the issue of music piracy. Being a hopeless music junkie whose addiction is on par with some absinthe addicts, I’ve had plenty of time to think about the moral status of piracy during the night-sweats. I don’t know many people whose music collection dwarfs mine significantly, and I have paid for every song in it. The stupid amount of money I’ve poured into my music addiction alone has been reason enough to make me look for every ethical loophole out there that would let me just rip the music I want for free. Somehow though, I just can’t manage to find such a hole. In fact, the answers to the ethical questions of piracy seem so obvious to me that I’ve never been able to come even close to justifying it when I have stolen music.
So, to the end of bringing us all together on this issue, and maybe helping the music industry flourish a bit, I pose the following challenge. It may seem odd at first, but thinking through the challenge, I think, will illuminate what has become something of a needlessly cloudy issue.
The challenge is this: Try to give an argument or reason in favor of pirating music that doesn’t also justify reading a person’s diary against their will.
And what is the reward for successfully meeting this challenge?
I will give you my entire music collection. That’s just three hours, fifteen minutes, and forty seconds shy of three weeks of continual audio. Dead serious. Bring it matie.