General Question

niki's avatar

Do people still buy original CD (music) when nowadays they can download for free?

Asked by niki (699 points ) June 7th, 2011

Why?
And for what better incentives?

It is sad because I think nowadays most people just lazily prefer downloading for free from internet instead of buying original CD/album and supporting their artists/musicians.
I’m afraid musicians would live in a much harder (& poorer) condition in today’s internet era. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

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25 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

It’s not that Im not willing to pay for music, it’s that I’m not willing to pay $20 for a cd with probably 1 good song and 15 shitty tracks.

If you have a problem with it, don’t fucking do, but don’t judge people for not being able to afford being ripped off. It’s no different than borrowing a cd from a friend or relative.

mazingerz88's avatar

If I would do it, it’s only because I deem it valuable to have a manufactured, dedicated CD complete with artwork cover and all that packaging of my favorite band or music artist. I understand vinyl records are collectibles now and soon music CD’s as well, when everything except your pets could be stored and accessed through the cloud digital universe.

Plucky's avatar

I will buy a cd if I it is a musician/band that I really like. I know that I will usually enjoy most, if not all, of the album. If I am unsure, especially with newer music, I will test out all of the tracks before buying the cd. I buy these cd’s because I enjoy the artwork, extras and packaging. I prefer something tangible as opposed to digital, in this respect. I rarely buy digital.

I think the only real benefit from digital is that it’s better for the environment, in the end.

fredesterly's avatar

I don’t see anything wrong in downloading from internet. Everybody likes to save if possible. Isn’t it?

koanhead's avatar

A good friend of mine has a collection of >5000 CDs. They take up expensive shelving on two walls of her living room. She is constantly collecting more. She has a hard and fast rule: she only ‘steals’ music if it is not available for sale. Otherwise, she buys it. She probably spends at least 10% of her income on music, and has done for more than 15 years now.

meiosis's avatar

Sorry @cheebdragon, but I will judge you for stealing other people’s property. It’s not the greatest crime in the world, but it is still stealing.

rts486's avatar

I mostly download, but I’ll buy the CD if I like the whole album AND I want the higher fidelity. The quality of downloads doesn’t match that of the CDs. Most of the time this is ok for me (I purchase all my downloads), but for some music I want the higher quality. Mostly classical or one of the few artist I prefer.

tom_g's avatar

I don’t like the actual physical CD, and prefer to purchase my MP3s from Amazon.

Years ago I would have had an eloquent explanation of why it is ok to illegally download music. After some real honest contemplation, however, I realized that mostly I was just attempting to justify my actions.

The way I view it now is this: Downloading music without paying for it is illegal. You may feel that it shouldn’t be. But right now it is, and by downloading these songs, you are breaking the law. Woooah, hold on Mr. Status Quo – are you saying that we should not do things that are illegal? Yes, with a big exception. Civil disobedience is a useful tool for people to get together to change existing laws if other means have not been productive and the existing laws are unjust in a way that violates human rights.

First, the inability to download the latest Michael Bolton cd for free is in no way violating your human rights or causing suffering. (Queue jokes about suffering and Bolton’s music.)

If you feel that it is so important to not pay for music, then illegally downloading it at home and moving on with your day is not the way to go. Work to affect change. There is nothing subversive about downloading an MP3 without paying for it. You are not helping to change the laws. You are part of the status quo.

I am someone who feels that many of the laws here in the US and my state of Massachusetts are absurd. However, I follow them. This is how a civil society works. When people can use their own personal justifications for breaking the law, then a gathering of humans into collective agreements about common laws has no meaning.

If I can’t afford the latest CD of my favorite band, then I can either save up enough money to purchase it, or just not buy it. Life won’t end. I just won’t be able to listen to some art that I really want to experience. It’s bourgeois fantasy to think you are being oppressed. And if you do feel this strongly, get active. Publicly. Fight for the “right” for everybody.

Anyway, just my thoughts on it. I am a horrible communicator, so let me just summarize this:
– laws that are truly unjust and violate human rights should be broken in a public, organized, productive way in an attempt to change the laws
– laws that are merely inconvenient or cause discomfort at the level of not having the latest CD from your favorite band or most fashionable pair of boots, should be followed until the time that you feel strongly enough about it to try to affect change for everyone (civil disobedience)

I purchase all of my music now.

marinelife's avatar

Downloading CD music for free is stealing.

Hibernate's avatar

Yeah.
I buy some of them to support the artists.

Leanne1986's avatar

There are certain singers/bands that I still buy CD’s of but mostly I download them from iTunes so that I am still paying for the album. I have never downloaded an album for free as I consider it stealing.

DeanV's avatar

I disagree with the “stealing” resentment here. If I’m stealing from anyone, I’m stealing from the record company who takes 30% of the musicians profits anyway.

The way I see it is that piracy is completely different than stealing because in piracy you’re not taking the only copy of said CD. If I was to download something I would just be getting a copy of what someone else has. They would not lose their copy, and I would have my copy. Think of it as your car gets stolen, but it’s still there in the morning whereas theft completely removes the original.

That all being said, I still buy a lot of music, but definitely not all of it. I go to concerts, I buy t-shirts and when I do buy my music I buy it directly from the artist if possible. In my opinion, sites like iTunes are really only one step above piracy because of the royalties taken from the artists themselves. I find this graphic to illustrate that well.

Also, this, by Benn Jordan (The Flashbulb, etc.) is a really good read.

Leanne1986's avatar

@dverhey But surely the musicians have to make some money for the record companies to take 30% in the first place which, as far as I can tell, means that the record company and the musicians lose out when people download music for free.

tom_g's avatar

@dverhey – You are stealing from the record company. I agree. But that is the agreement your artist has chosen to enter. The artist sold their art to a corporation who funded marketing, money for recording, etc. Whether you feel this was a beneficial agreement on the band’s part is not relevant. You have chosen to still obtain the corporate product without paying for it. While I am sympathetic to your argument (it’s almost a “victimless crime” claim), it is a crime. If you don’t like the system, change it. The only person violating the agreement between band, record company, and you is…you.

And of course I understand the difference between taking a copy of something vs. taking the real thing (piracy vs. walking into a music store and walking out with a CD). But again, you are choosing to violate a law you find distasteful. This is not the agreement we make when we are living in a society.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I havent bought a cd since cd burners were invented. While I dont support artists through the purchase of music I go to more live shows than anyone I know. I support them by seeing them live. I also have a radio show and I push a lot of the good unknown artists on there. Id have to say that theyre getting more exposure by being played to the college campus than they would if I just bought the 1 cd and left it just at that.

YOU WOULDNT STEAL A CAR!!!

DeanV's avatar

@tom_g I agree with you, and although I agree piracy is legally wrong, my issue is with whether it is morally wrong.

Piracy allows artists to get their music out into the community, increasing their own sales. The ones who lose out from piracy are the labels, who have really been extorting the artists all these years.
The way I see it, artists are victimized by the labels, and the labels are victimized by piracy.

It’s a flawed system, and piracy is only adding to it, but I don’t necessarily feel that piracy is a 100% bad/evil system either.

Source and a good read anyway

El_Cadejo's avatar

@dverhey i definitely agree. Piracy may hurt the artist a bit on music sales but the amount of exposure gained for the artist is far larger which has led me at least to pay to see some bands many times over that I wouldnt have heard of otherwise.

Plucky's avatar

I answered the question without realizing it was about free or stolen music. I was thinking of the digital tracks/albums available through Amazon and the like.

The only times I download music for free is when I can’t find a live/rare/old track anywhere else. Or when I want to test the album out first, before buying it. If I don’t care for the songs on that album, I won’t buy it. I will then delete all the songs I downloaded because I obviously don’t care for them. When testing out a song, I want to actually hear the whole song ..not a fraction of it.

Illegally downloading songs has actually helped me buy many cd’s. When I purchase the cd, I delete the downloaded stuff and replace it with my cd (because I’m weird that way).

cheebdragon's avatar

I can’t afford to buy myself a car, do you think I want to help buy a god damn Ferrari or another mansion for someone just because they have a few good songs? Fuck that, maybe they should lower the price on their music and more people would be willing to buy it.

lonelydragon's avatar

Most of the time, I just download from online music stores because most albums contain filler with only a few good tracks. But if the whole album is good enough to warrant spending $10–20, then I will buy the CD. I like to have physical copies of my favorite album because as convenient as mp3’s are, CD’s don’t go “poof” when your hard drive dies.

dannyc's avatar

Obviously they don’t, obviously they should.

Seek's avatar

Yes and no.

I usually download first, then buy if I like it. I do the same with movies.

And when I do buy CDs, I try to buy directly from the artist if at all possible. For example, from their merch table at a concert. I’ve even gone so far as to find artists I like on Myspace, Facebook or eBay to purchase music directly from them. I don’t give a fiddler’s fart about supporting the record companies, but I do want artists I like to be able to continue putting out the music I love.

koanhead's avatar

I download music that is offered for free by the artists (usually under Creative Commons) from sources like Jamendo. If I like a band enough I might buy something from them- but I will only buy directly from the band, or possibly from a site like Jamendo that doesn’t take a huge cut. I will catch their show if they come to town and buy the CD then, only as a souvenir of the occasion; I don’t really have much use for the physical medium.
I also don’t really have any use for record companies, Hollywood, or other “Big Media”. They had their day, now it’s over. Go indie or go home.

Bellatrix's avatar

I still buy CDs.

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