We're all guilty of piracy at some point in our lives. Whether it be intentional through sharing software and torrents, or by simply turning our computers on and accidentally downloading pirated freeware. While numerous government actions have been taken against this crime, none have really worked without violating our rights or upsetting the public enough to shoot it down, and in this way ultimately fail. However, without it, some artists simply wouldn't be as popular as they are.
So, if everyone does it, and it actually benefits musicians occasionally, what's so bad?
One of the main arguments of anyone who illegally downloads software/music/media files is “So-and-so has enough money. My money won't make any sort of difference,” or the just as popular excuse of any modern DJ, “I simply don't have enough money to buy all this music (or program).” While these are some valid excuses to some people, that's all they are. Excuses.
Major artists, Skrillex among them, have come out publicly with their understanding of piracy. This is to be understood, due to the small impact individual sales of songs have on their payroll, but even lesser-known artists condone piracy in some senses. They admit, probably to the distaste of their labels, that pirating their music is perfectly fine. That they would much prefer you just go to their tours or concerts, as this is where the major artists make all their money. This among other things is the unwritten law of being a fan of an artist.
So, if you're an avid pirate, here's a few things you need to start doing. I know that this sounds boring, but it will lighten your conscience and is really not that much to ask from us.
Firstly, support the upcoming artists that you are a fan of by paying whatever is in your price range. If you enjoy their work, help out. They need as much recognition as possible. Not saying that they deserve special attention because they're upstarts, but it definitely means much more to them. If you can't afford the whole album? Go onto their Beatport page and simple purchase their top recent song. This can help them push at least a single onto the charts, which does wonders for them. If even this is simply too much, you can still do some alternatives.
One great alternative would be to share them and their work; this is the biggest gift you can give to an artist you're a fan of. Ask any new artist which they would rather you do; buy from them in some way, or share them with your friends/social network page. Their answer will most likely be the latter.
Although there's a long list, the last one I deem a must is to go see them live. This is where they make the money, and in my opinion, this is what they live for. Going to one of their concerts shows your support, and will lighten any moral load you may have from ripping off their entire life's work. Unlike a download behind a computer screen, they see you there physically supporting them and getting into their music, and this sort of attention gives the average Joe the confidence to reach new heights in their field simply from the appreciation from fans like you.