To Combat Digital Piracy, Try Stealing

Composer pitches real-world thievery to help raise awareness
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2009 11:47 AM CST
Composer Richard Gibbs attends the film premiere of 'Love Don't Cost a Thing' in 2003 in Hollywood. Gibbs thinks that music should cost something, and is standing by his belief.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A Hollywood composer wants you to stop illegally downloading music, and he's willing to put his freedom in jeopardy to make his point. Because the public doesn't seem to equate swapping digital files with stealing, Richard Gibbs is pushing for people to swipe other products in a nationwide "day of sharing," reports the Christian Science Monitor.

Gibbs has been warned that encouraging larceny—for instance, "test drive a car and simply keep driving"—could land him in jail, but he sees that as something that can only help his cause. "In the process of thinking about a day like this, perhaps the public will come around to understanding how musicians feel," says a music professor—that every free download is the equivalent of a crime.