Let me try to defuse some of the potential inflammatory comments:
1. DRM is evil.
2. The RIAA is not only evil, it is stupid.
3. Pirating media is not only illegal, it is morally wrong.
4. Artists deserve to be able to make a living from the art they create.
I have friends and family who are artists and make money from the art they create. I have long been a proponent to everyone I know that if you enjoy art, you should be willing to pay a reasonable price for it. No question, organizations like the RIAA go in wrong directions and to far extremes, but I am willing to pay for art I enjoy and have always encouraged others to do the same.
As a parent, I have held to my guns on this one. My children have been taught copyright, the idea of creative value and that illegal media is not tolerated in this household. I am the parent who would not give them blank CDs to give to their friends to make copies of movies and music. I was the one who informed teachers that making copies of “Kid Music CDs” for fun is NOT an educational fair use and they should not be requesting blank CDs from home for it.
Limewire is banned. We buy or rent movies, we do not download them. My kids get iTunes allowances as part of a Christmas Present. I have worked hard to instill this in my kids. Honestly, there is a grey area that if I were in a house alone, I would live in that includes some violations of this principle. But when you are setting an example, you tread more carefully than when no one is watching. And Kids? they are always watching.
While they were younger, this was successful. But now they are older, independent thinkers. Plus we have broadband connections. Broadband= streaming media.
I can say with much confidence that my children do not, will not and disagree with downloading illegal copies of music and movies. They do not want to possess it, they know this is a good way to behave as a citizen consumer of the arts. You pay for what you own.
But what about the illegal videos on YouTube.. and the myriad number of sites that are available on the internet. It happens.. I know they do it, they even tell me about it without thinking about the wrongness of how that media is uploaded.
Then again, is it really wrong? Illegal, YES. But wrong? Watching something on the internet will not stop a bunch of teenagers from paying to go see something again. And in some cases, it goes deep into the gray area- video footage that they would have no access to, or outlet to pay for, if they were not watching it stream.
I want them to respect artist’s rights and means of life. But I do not want to be such an “enforcer” that they never talk to me or tell me what is going in their lives, either. It is a very delicate balance. Is it OK to condone things that I might participate in myself if kids were not watching? Where do you draw the line with your children?