Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
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The open source philosophy is a wonderful thing. If you're reading slashdot, you know all about how it can increase colaboration, speed up development time, and contribute to creating a more functional product. But this philosophy simply doesn't apply to art. The element that makes art such a beautiful thing is its unique expression of an individual's viewpoint. In art, collaboration is unnecessary (and potenetially harmful), devel time is irrelevant, and "a more functional product" equals the Backstreet Boys.
Sure, it sucks that most recording artists only receive a few pennies for every CD they sell and that "big, evil corporations" seem to control the record industry; that's what makes online distribution such a revolutionary thing. The Artist (FKAP) can sell albums directly from his website (either as MP3, another format, or by mail) and receive all the profit in return. Is there something wrong with that? Is there some reason that you, me, or anyone else should have the right (after 5 years or any other amount of time) to take his art and modify and distribute it as we see fit? Let Disney keep Mickey as long as they want; it's by far the lesser of two evils.
Don't give the RIAA an excuse to bully people who have done nothing wrong (see what happened to the Smashing Pumpkins Audio Archive for a case study), or to force out MP3's in favor of a format they can control. Respect the rights of artists - they don't owe you anything, but if you take pleasure in what they've created, you owe them a debt you'll probably never be able to repay.