The average consumer is not motivated by arguments about copyright infringement, nor should they be…
Copyright has never been simply an exclusive contract to exploit the fruits of one’s creativity, but rather a balancing act, weighing the legal protection of intellectual property against the public rights of access to information and freedom of expression. And the history of copyright over the last 100 years is that it has become more restrictive, less concerned with promoting the public good. In the case of music this trend would be somewhat more palatable if individual artists were the beneficiaries. But they aren’t; corporations are. Witness the “Works for Hire” amendment, which [tried to make] all master recordings the property of the record company. Indeed, it is fair to say that record companies have stolen more money from artists than all the Napster users combined. Consumers have not fared much better. Recently the major labels admitted to a price-fixing scheme, which robbed consumers of approximately $500 million in a 2.5 year period.
Through its past practices, the music industry has not only created the conditions under which consumers will circumvent the record companies to get their music, they have made people feel righteous for doing soâ€.
— Reebee Garofalo, co-author of Rock â€˜N’ Roll is Here to Pay.