Takers Economy proposes an alternative look at illegal file sharing in light of the role of art in society, and in the context of the oneness of all beings and things.
But Everybody Else Does It !
Nowadays, sharing music in social networks has apparently become customary. There are quantities of groups and channels dedicated to such activities and wherein the question of whether or not the contents have been approved for that kind of distribution doesn't seem to bother the participants. The group members or channel owners simply post the materials regardless of the rights or the will of the creators, and objections are practically nonexistent.
Evidently, not all violations are committed wittingly, and the matter of education must definitely be taken into account in the equation. Still, there is also the issue of the currently available services and technologies, and what they provide, or don't provide, to help improve this state of affairs.
But Nothing Prevents Me from Doing it !
There is obviously tremendous worth in what those platforms and tools make possible. Not that long ago, capturing an event in real-time using a cameraphone, and publishing it so that people located halfway across the world are able to experience it merely a few minutes later, would only have been plausible in the context of a science-fiction story. Nevertheless, this has become commonplace, and media of this sort are in fact used in news coverage more and more frequently.
Likewise, from the perspective of the content creator, there is also inestimable value in having the means of distributing one's work, in a matter of instants, to an audience that is potentially unlimited. Moreover, being able to mark uploads as private or unlisted, or having the option of allowing or disallowing embedding of the materials, and thus having a degree of control on how and where they can be experienced, increases this value.
Yet, that same simplicity which facilitates the propagation of content also comes with its negative effects. On one video sharing website whose popularity renders its identification superfluous, the sole hurdle that might discourage anybody from uploading illegal contents is a message warning them that they must own the copyright, or have the necessary rights for any medium they publish. Consequently, certain people seem to assume that any content successfully uploaded to the website is legal. Generally speaking, similar services that host media files operate on that same principle, which supposes that users are honest, and either familiar with the ins and outs of rights and copyrights, or willing to educate themselves prior to uploading. The problem with that policy is that, manifestly, many users of those websites don't know, and apparently don't care, whether contents are lawful or not. As a result, there are quantities of material uploaded illegally to such platforms.
When looking at a media sharing page, for instance a video, there is usually very little information helping one determine if the upload has been approved by the rightsholders or not. The details of the channel through which the content has been published might provide a clue, and hence give a way to the viewer who doesn't want to participate in a questionable culture to identify legit files. If one can establish that the media is being shared via an official channel, whether it is operated by the creators themselves or their management, for example by a record label, then they can avoid dubious materials. Still, nothing really prevents anyone from creating a channel that seems to be the official channel of someone else, and therefore, this validation method is not necessarily always straightforward.