Starving creators

WELL WORTH a read as a compelling argument for copyright and for paying people to produce "content" is Chris Ruen's well-researched rant "Fifteen years of utter bollocks: how a generation's freeloading has starved creativity." It is at


Free Loading, Chris Ruen, ISBN 978-1921844294, £12.99 paper

Ruen admits that back in the days of illegal "file-sharing" sites like Napster (remember them?) he was one of the most enthusiastic illegal file-sharers - until he started working in a Brooklyn coffee shop where he met members of his favourite bands, who were suddenly just as poor as he was.

Says Ruen, "Once I realised that the great majority of artists and musicians actually needed their legal rights enforced under copyright just to have the chance to break even, the usual excuses for digital piracy started to look like sophomoric drivel." (The Freelance contacted Ruen and asked his permission to reproduce here the above quote, which he gave us. So not freeloading then, asking the creator nicely.)

He also looks into the myth that such file "sharing" sites are just "boundary-challenging adolescents swapping files with their friends," and demonstrates how these are multi-billion dollar enterprises that attract investors.

The article also directs you to Ruen's book Freeloading: How our insatiable appetite for free content is starving creativity, which looks in detail about whether anything can be done about such piracy

Last modified: 01 Oct 2014 - © 2014 contributors
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