I was reading John's post on concert ticket prices, and I thought to myself about mp3 technology, and the great amount of people that steal music off the internet. Artists that are alive today definitely deserve money for what they create. There are certain artists, like Michael Jackson when he was alive, who buy the rights to artist's songs and earn a profit off the artists who may not even be alive, like the Beatles (I'm speaking just of John Lennon and George Harrison of course). In a Nike's sneaker commercial, Michael Jackson used "Revolution 9" (article in this link), and this action really upset ex-Beatles member Paul McCartney.
What exactly are you stealing when you download an mp3 you haven't purchased? Are you stealing a sound or are you truly stealing an artist's creation? I understand many artists are making a living off selling music, but there are record companies out there that own the rights to certain songs, and they just want to make a profit off a sound clip. Or how about Tupac who passed away in the mid 1990s, and the fact that he is making a profit for Death Row Records?
The other thought that came up was about hip hop artists that sample. One of the biggest controversies was when Vanilla Ice was accused of stealing the bass line from "Under Pressure" from the rock band Queen. He changed a few notes in the bass line, and it wasn't stealing. Is this really being an artist when you sample other artist's works? Does this make it music and are you an artist when you do this? I don't know how I feel about this, so I'm leaving this open to suggestions in the blog.