Shaun alerted us to an article in the CS Monitor about a Hollywood composer, Richard Gibbs, who is sarcastically proposing an international "Day of Sharing."
It's not what you might think it is. Rather than suggesting a day to show how sharing is a good thing, Gibbs is simply showing his own ignorance of the difference between scarce and infinite goods
. That's because his "Day of Sharing" is a recommendation that people steal (yes, steal!) physical things. He claims that this will show people that sharing music is stealing -- but, of course, he's wrong. Making a copy
of an infinite good is entirely different than taking
a scarce good away from someone. Most people who think about this for more than a few minutes tend to get that -- though, obviously, some are a bit slower. The very fact that more and more musicians have learned not just how to make money but to thrive
people to share their music suggests that it's not stealing at all. It's simply a business model issue, with Mr. Gibbs being unwilling to adjust. Also, amusingly, either he or the author of the article seems to think that eMusic is a file sharing site -- complaining about it as one of the "sources of free music" apparently unaware that eMusic is a paid music site, and probably the most successful service after iTunes.
However, if he wants a "Day of Sharing," perhaps we should give it to him. On the day he's chosen as his Day of Sharing, November 29, 2009 (the day after Thanksgiving) we should all send him copies of free, public domain or Creative Commons-licensed music from musicians who actually have an open mind on this issue and who encourage sharing, knowing that, with the right business model, it actually helps them tremendously. That would be a true Day of Sharing and would perhaps show Mr. Gibbs that perhaps things aren't so bad as he thinks they are.
: Fantastic idea from the comments
: "We should all dress like Richard Gibbs and then send him pictures showing how we stole his clothes." Brilliant.