Niagara Gazette

Columns

March 3, 2014

COPS NOTEBOOK: Good news and sad news

(Continued)

But it just takes a couple of clicks of your mouse to find a pirate website and download your favorite song or show without dropping so much as a dime to do it.

You can give me any lame argument you choose, but that activity is stealing just as much as it would be if you walked into a supermarket and took a shopping cart full of groceries and by-passed the check-out registers.

And if you want to tell me you’re only ripping off “the man,” otherwise known as the record and movie companies, you’re wrong. You’re ripping off the people who created that music or those movies. 

You know, the actors and artists you say you love and care for as fans.

Let me tell you how those artists get paid. Yes, they get paid when they create a song or movie, but they don’t make music or movies every day. 

Actors and recording artists don’t have jobs like you and me where they work five days a week and get a check 52 times a year. They get their initial pay for recording the song or making the movie and then, every time someone buys that song and buys that movie, they get paid again. It’s what is known as a residual. 

Why is that important? Because for most actors and recording artists, residual can make up as much as half or more of their annual income. 

And that matters because an actor or recording artist’s annual income determines whether they qualify for union provided health insurance or a pension credit. When you steal movies and music, you steal food off the table, healthcare and a future pension from my members.

So yeah, I cheered a little when the guys at LOEG got popped.

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