This post was originally written as a comment to a post at by Stan Schroeder about how media companies need to do a better job at distribution than the pirates in order to beat them. Before I continue, I'd just like to point out that the word "pirate" is probably an unfair term to be used in describing those who share coyrighted files. Original pirates were killers and would steal ships and cargo--both physical items--and then kill the owners. All music and movie "pirates" do is effectively make photocopies. The owners are alive and have only lost a fraction of the imagined value of their property. And can you really blame these "pirates"?

In today's economy where money seems to be worth less and less every day, gas seems to cost more and more every day, people are finding that they live in a world where more and more people can't afford to pay for things like movie tickets and music.

Humans seem to need (or at least be addicted to) art (even bad art). So if they can't afford to pay full price they make the smart business choice and go for the cheapest price they can find.

It's OK for record executives to make the most money they can, but it's not OK for the consumer to save as much money as they can. This seems unfair since record company executives are perceived to make more money than their acts and the CDs they put out mostly suck. Why are they getting rich off of generally sucking when they could and should just be scraping by?

The solution to me is obvious: the record companies need to make less money and offer more value.

If you want to continue charging $15 for a CD, then make it worth it. Make sure all the songs on it are good. Include cool premiums, like keychains, toys or other cool items. I disagree with the suggestion that record companies should add more digital content since it will be pirated along with the music. The extra stuff has to be only available by buying it in stores.

I do agree with many who say that evolution is the key here--like it or not, the consumeristic environment is changing. Evolve or die, sadly.

Complaining that consumers are "greedy" or "selfish" or "disrespectful to the property of others" won't change the fact that consumers are reacting to their own environments and adapting. They don't want to go without so they're evolving, too.

I'm sure everyone wants their favorite bands to survive and feed their families. But don't blame "pirates" for not wanting to pay what, to many, are absurd prices for generally lackluster product. Wasn't it Radiohead, just last year, who made more money letting consumers pay what they wanted than they would have if they'd released their CD in stores?

Stop defending the old ways and let's all evolve together.