i've been a remorseless downloader and filesharer for as long as i can remember. in fact i've recently downloaded quite a bit of stuff and didn't think twice. But then again, i also vote with my dollars, and i actually pay for comics and music and movies that i want to support.
But recently i've been looking at the publishing landscape and seeing the scant difference in a book that can survive and a book that cannot, literally a difference of a thousand or so readers each month can keep a title afloat.
The Exterminators hovered in that dangerous area for a while, chasing that scant handful of readers it needed to stay alive, and eventually had the plug pulled. And then i looked at the download records of several torrents. Thousands of readers! Assuming for a moment that every download was a potential sale, which i realistically do not, those readers could easily keep a book alfoat. Even assuming that a fraction of them were potential sales, which i think i realistically can, there could be enough there to have kept things going.
So, here i stand, at a crossroads. As a proponent of downloading and challenging a lot of creatively and artistically oppressive copyright laws, yet being an artist and my artwork being my only income and intellectual property being my primary worth, where exactly do i draw the line? i wish i had an answer right now, but for now, i'm still scratching my head.
But i did see something on Jamie McKelvie's site that made a lot of sense. I know that i cannot stop the people from doing what they want, sure as i cannot be stopped myself. Personally, i try to support artists whose work i enjoy, and if I've fallen into that category for someone who has illegally downloaded something of mine, i have found a way to purge their souls of that cold and dirty feeling that no doubt came with it!
i don't expect anyone to use it, but if anyone were so inclined, all they have to do is fill in how much they'd like to give, in proportion to how dirty they feel, and click the button to get started down the road to being right with the universe!