Spend money on entertainment rather than steal others’ work

I went to the library recently to rent a movie I have been trying to watch for a while. I have been told “A Beautiful Mind” is phenomenal, and I thought to myself, “Why not?”
When I saw it was missing from the shelf, I went to the front desk. The library assistant was a young male, probably in his early 20s, leaning back in his chair behind the desk.
“Just get it off the Internet dude,” he said.
“That’s illegal,” I replied.
He just laughed in response. He thought I was kidding, until he really looked at me and saw the expression in my eyes. What did he take me for?
“Wait, are you serious?”
“Yeah,” I said.
Without a peg-leg, gold tooth and parrot, do I look like a pirate to you?
“Wow. I mean, it doesn’t even matter, it’s not like they don’t make any money. How do you get music? You pay for that too?” he asked with contempt.
“Yeah, or I listen to the radio, where I know the musician gets royalties for their work.  There’s no such thing as a free song,” I said in reply and walked away.
I wasn’t able to watch the movie I wanted and I was OK with that. Who am I to steal someone’s work? I’m not a thief.
Since when is it OK to take something without paying for it? It does not matter if the musician is filthy rich. That is their work. They spent time and money to create their product.
I need to spend money to reap the fruits of their labor.

Edward Burns is a freshman majoring in political science and broadcast journalism.

April 12, 2012


Edward Burns

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