I have no problem with piracy, but this irritates the living shit out of me. Of course downloading music from mainstream artists isn’t going to hurt them, because they are essentially no different from a bag of chips or a can of soda. They’re products selling easily digestible garbage to young kids. They’re owned, groomed, and maintained by billion dollar record companies.
In some cases, downloading does hurt the artist, especially when that artist doesn’t tour or sell merchandise. When their only product is the music they’re releasing online, and especially when they’re doing it without the financial security of a record label, then downloading does hurt them. A lot. Piracy is good for a touring act that is trying to reach a broad audience and that’s why a lot of bands have embraced the idea. The fact remains, however, that not every single project is a touring one. Some people just like to make music, and hopefully (if things go well), they can make a career selling tunes to fans.
I’m sick of seeing this shit pop up everywhere because it’s making an excuse universally when it’s only applicable in mainstream cases.
That being said, I don’t mind you downloading my music. Feel free.