Selfishness implies that you deny someone else something, digital copies are infinite. If anything it's selfish to own the last copy of a limited edition. Just as it is to keep a famous painting hidden in a private collection.
That response in no way addresses or rebukes what I said, jbthazard. You're a certifiable cheap bastard if you think you shouldn't have to pay to own art. Sure, everyone should have an equal chance at experiencing it - that's why the proliferation of streaming services and internet radio and youtube and other channels of experience is an amazing thing. But it's the epitome of selfishness to think you should have all the albums you want at "real thing" quality for absolutely no price. And please stop comparing this to painting; there is no analogous framework here, which is why you can't make sense of the comparison. You do, in fact, pay to go to a museum (even if it's via taxes or a donation) to see paintings - although I should probably say "people do" since you clearly wouldn't spend money on it.
"Not to mention the obvious fact that many bands who exist today would have much less exposure/prominence without the internet, and subsequently less money. " Exactly, a lot of artists who had some success in the 90's and a subsequent drop in CD-sales in the 00's complain about piracy. Have they seriously considered how much the competition has increased since then, especially bands who haven't updated their sound?
Paintings are in a sense recorded art, too. We don't buy tickets to "concerts" in which we witness an artist recreate one of his/her paintings the way we watch musicians recreate/reperform their own works. We have always valued art in both senses: experiencing it with the presence of the artist, and without it.
optimistic, that doesn't sound right at all. Music is not infinite either, be it physically or temporally. One can easily repeat a song over and over just as they can repeat the act of looking at a painting over and over, both are equal in their quantified finiteness or infinitude, whichever fits better. Digital quality, in terms of representing the "real thing" also concerns paintings and music. Mp3s are technically speaking not the real thing since they are lossy, data is deleted for the sake of space. High resolutions, for audio or images, is sufficient for recreating the "real thing". Art and the very act of appreciating it becomes an esoteric and elitist activity without ways of spreading it to the masses, be it via radio, internet, etc.. Not to mention the obvious fact that many bands who exist today would have much less exposure/prominence without the internet, and subsequently less money.
We should go back to the days when, if you wanted to hear music, someone had to be in the room playing it for you. Because that's what would happen if no one valued recorded art. The analogy toward paintings does not fit. A painter creates a physical piece that is not infinite - copies seen on a computer screen are just an approximation, and its perceived value lies in the singularity of its existence as much as its artistic merit; the musician's recording is intangible and repeatable - you are getting the "real thing" whether it's mp3 or vinyl or tape. That being said I think paying for mp3s is bullshit because I do value something tangible with my purchase.
I agree with frags. I think a musician should definitely keep the right to have the ability to earn money off their business, but perhaps I suffer from cognitive dissonance because the idea of paying money for art is ridiculous to me. What if people began charging money for digital copies of famous paintings? Sounds ridiculous to any of you? We do the same with digital copies of music. Is it really right to capitalize on art and say that only those who afford it are worthy of listening? Should music be legally owned by musicians/record labels and sold with monetary priorities? I'm glad more musicians are beginning to become lenient towards file sharing, or better yet releasing their music for free.