On October 25, 2007, in tech, by mugen

I read this article Our Entitlement Mentality and found it just as dated as the commenters point out – it’s worth reading the rebuttals in the comments to get a better view of things, definitely. Some other things that are overlooked in these arguments include the fact that I WOULDN’T buy half the things I download, partly because singles are so overpriced (here I refer to hard-copy CD’s and the like) and because whole albums often aren’t worth buying for just one song.

But the real issue I take with the article itself is that it never pauses to ask WHY we (Americans in particular, but western cultures) have this sense of “entitlement.” And I think this is a very complex question that I can’t really analyze in a post on a blog. But one component of that, regarding “free” music, is the very model that is used to promote musicians and bands. We’re constantly surrounded by “free” music – TV commercials (and even shows now), radio, sound systems in stores and shops, in the mall, sometimes even on the street. We hear music constantly and we have no notion that we’re actually paying for it via advertising. Or even, perhaps, that the music itself is its own advertisement. Or the store/shop/restaurant has paid for a music subscription service in order to have tunes in their business. So the notion is “if I can get this for free on the radio, if I could have taped it on my cassette deck 10 years ago (or 20 or whatever), then why can’t I use this better technology to get it free now? So obviously, the system is broken, but to slap people for taking advantage of your broken system and scold them (or sue them) is at the very least arrogant, if not ultimately futile.

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