The Trichordist’s “Letter To Emily White”

This feels like a response to a straw man rather than directly to Emily, The NPR intern who admitted she didn’t acquire much of her music collection legitimately.1 But I still think some of the points here are interesting to think about.

  1. Downloaders argue that music needs to be more convenient to pay for, but today it’s so much easier to acquire music legitimately than it has ever been. It takes a click and 99¢ per song. The only inconvenient thing about this is that it costs money.
  2. There are a number of companies in tech that are complicit in this kind of activity and indirectly benefit from the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.2

I think that a lot of people who keep their BitTorrent client open all day create loopholes in their brains (like ‘oh man, RECORD COMPANIES ARE EVIL’) to justify their behavior, when really it’s that they don’t want to pay for something that they can get for free.


  1. But she never really admits she illegally download her stuff. She just says she’s only ever bought 15 CDs. I don’t think that’s far out for a 21-year old. 

  2. It’s easy to talk about ad networks selling space around Pirate Bay downloads, but my favorite example has always been Acquisition, which I just learned here is no longer available for download.