I have in the past got in to numerous discussions about the future of music & the moral rights/wrongs of downloading music illegally.
As a musician, the speed of change & the availability of music from so many sources, never ceases to amaze me. From a moral standpoint, I would have to say that in my own view downloading is up to the individual.
I am happy for people to download my own music for free as I would rather someone listened, instead of it gathering dust on the hard drive. I feel that if my income depended on my ability as a musician, then I would expect some recompense for my creative work. However, I would still make a number of tracks available as a marketing tool. In fact I would also allow people to openly remix & change those tracks so that they could be re posted for others to hear, possibly incorporating them in to future projects. All I would ask is that my name remained on the credits as the original idea was mine.
When I hear record company executives whine & whinge about downloading, all I feel is a smug satisfaction that their days on the gravy train are numbered. The digital age & all its possibilities took them completely by surprise. They were too busy trying to protect their profits & lifestyles to see the future.
It took Steve Jobs to come along & do that.
I also hate the way, that over the course of my life, the software & hardware for accessing music have changed so frequently. The last straw was Cd's & trying to repurchase a large collection of vinyl albums for a second time ( the first been cassettes ). In other words I don't feel any guilt downloading music from bands whose product I have bought at least twice. In the case of some artists 3 or 4 times.
So the slogan should be.... Downloading isn't killing music...it's killing the music industry...and not fast enough for my liking.