NYTimes Teen Mag Spikes Story On Why Downloading Isn't Stealing

from the too-much? dept

I have no idea the full details behind the story, but The New York Times Upfront, which is apparently a NY Times produced magazine for teens, had asked Aaron Swartz to write a “counterpoint” story on downloading music. Aaron wrote up a short piece entitled “Downloading Isn’t Stealing” and the NY Times decided not to run it. Aaron claims that the reason they gave him was “the Times had decided not to tell kids to break the law.” Aaron has decided to go ahead and publish the piece himself. While I agree with the premise (as has been discussed to death on this site), I don’t necessarily agree with the specifics of his argument. Downloading might be copyright infringement, but it’s clearly not theft (even the Supreme Court has said so). What’s more interesting to me is why the magazine spiked the piece. I’m not sure if folks at Upfront have a different explanation for why they spiked the piece – but if it is the reason Aaron gives, then that’s pretty sad, and suggests that we’re not teaching kids these days to understand the complexity of issues, but prefer to brainwash kids with simple (but untrue) maxims. I guess this isn’t a huge surprise, but you can always hope.

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Comments on “NYTimes Teen Mag Spikes Story On Why Downloading Isn't Stealing”

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thecaptain says:

No Subject Given

C’mon. Teaching kids hasn’t been a priority for years. Education today focuses on brainwashing…ie: aping the course material. There is very little or NO option/training for critical thought.
That makes it easier for companies to sell to you. It makes it easier for the powers that be to stay in control.

Its a sad thing really.

BtG says:

No Subject Given

Maybe it’s just me, but I did not find the article to be that well written. Yes, it has all the facts that we all know and love to parade around, but that’s all. There was little connection between all the facts, a simple list of that info would have been equally as effective (and quicker to digest).

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Yeah, I agree, which is why I wonder if there were other reasons for spiking the article.

I think a more interesting argument is to first separate out the difference between copyright infringement and theft – and then to look at the reasons for copyright and copyright infringement and see if they make sense.

Also, my personal belief is still that companies should look at how they can embrace such “popular will” to their own advantage, without pissing off their customers.

Steve Sanderson says:

Re: Re: What a STUPID argument

Man, I have to say that this kid’s editorial on downloading contains some of the most half-baked, flat-out STUPID logic I have ever read. It sounds like the way a 12 year old’s mind works! I hope the RIAA investigates this dumbass and confiscates his PC, the digital piracy movement would probably be appalled at the shoddy nature of the points he puts forth to justify copyright THEFT. And that’s what it is, Mike, whether you choose to live in a dream world and deny it!

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