I’m sure your mom told you that stealing is bad, and downloading music illegally is no exception. Yet although the moral and legal reasons against digital piracy have been beaten to death, there are still quite a few DJs out there who play pirated tracks.
So instead of reminding you why illegal downloading is wrong, I’m going to take a different approach. I’ll explain how paying for music is actually in your best interest.
You become more selective. When you pay for your music, you think twice before hitting that “Buy” button to download a track. Do I really like this tune? Where will it fit in my set? When would it be appropriate to play? Questions like these make you more selective about your music library, which in turn makes you a better DJ.
You appreciate music more. It’s a psychological truth that you value something you paid for far more that what you got for free. Paying for music makes you actually appreciate the work put into making it and not treat it as disposable commodity. That’s a solid +1 for your musicianship.
You get quality. It’s hard to be certain of the quality when you download pirated tracks. The track you download could be a poor radio rip, or an nth transcode of the original MP3. There’s no such problem when you buy legally. As an extra bonus, you get proper ID3 tags along with the album art, and you can choose the track format (MP3 or WAV), too.
You save yourself from trouble. While I’m still to hear about a confirmed case of police raiding parties and arresting DJs for playing pirated music, you do expose yourself to trouble if you download copyrighted material illegally. So just don’t do this.
To sum it up, illegal downloading is bad. But you also want to pay for your music – because it helps you develop your musicianship, saves you from trouble and makes you a better DJ.
Do you pay for all of your music, or are you guilty of downloading pirated stuff? Leave a comment below and let me know.
JM has played open-air gigs, shared the stage with the likes of ATB and had mix albums released commercially. He has been teaching DJing since 2008.
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