From time to time, people ask me if they can copy music from my iPod or if I can burn an album for them. When I deny their request, they look at me as if I've just run over their blind grandmother. And then shot her. In the back. With a shotgun.
You see, there are some laws I'm willing to break (i.e. driving 58 mph in a 55 zone), and some laws I'm reluctant to ignore (i.e. snorting heroin off a prostitute's stomach in any State except Nevada, where such behavior is practiced by even the clergy). The issue of music piracy would fall into the latter category.
Most people argue that the bulk of money spent on albums goes to record executives, advertising, packaging, manufacturing, etc., with very little of it going to the actual artist. And that's probably true. But I'm sure the people working in those other fields work hard at what they do, and who am I to take money from their pockets?
If I were a professional musician, I'd most likely put all my music on my website for anyone to download for free. Sure, I'd release actual albums, as well, but if I, as an artist, were desperate to get my music out to everyone, I wouldn't want anyone to have to pay for it. Instead, I'd spend my time touring, which is where most artists make their money anyway.
So next time you want me to burn the new Modest Mouse album for you and I refuse, don't be all, "What? You won't break the law for me?" But if you ask nicely, I might just loan you the $15 to go to your local independent music retailer and buy it.