One "DIY" Regret

In meeting some increasingly intense criticism to my DIY article this week, I decided to give it another look and make sure I still agreed with the soundness of my argument as the wider debate develops.

I stand by everything...except for one point.

In one paragraph I bring up consumers “burning albums for others” and I clumsily lump it in with the piracy issue. It’s a brief mention, but I regret it. They’re two different issues and placing them together confuses my argument. This debate really doesn’t need any additional or unnecessary confusion. I see burning CDs, while sharing some strong similarities with online piracy, as in the tradition of making tape copies and such. It’s faster, easier, cheaper than it used to be - sure - but to equate the unbelievable efficiency of Torrents with the time, effort, and social inconvenience inherent in trading physical reproductions ignores the truly revolutionary nature of the internet, where millions around the world can simultaneously obtain any movie, any song, any album in a matter of a few minutes and at zero direct cost. That’s a fundamental difference from trading tapes and CDs, an old controversy made increasingly obsolete by the iPod. While my essay certainly holds some implications for that other controversy, I wasn’t seeking to address it in the article. They’re two different debates, if linked by history, and I see the online piracy debate as the exponentially more urgent of the two.

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