I’m early for my interview with Chris Ruen, author of Freeloading: How Our Insatiable Hunger for Free Content Starves Creativity, and going over my notes at the bar. Eventually I circle one question from my list, the inquiry I kept penning into the margins of my review copy: why do people believe music should be free?

Ruen never thought about the ethics surrounding downloading until he was directly confronted with the reverberations of its impact. He got a job slinging coffee in his Brooklyn neighborhood and began serving many of the local artists that filled your iPod a decade ago. Up until that point, like most of us, he had never thought much about the ethics behind downloading. It wasn’t until he began hearing their stories, the inability of many popular musicians to make ends meet, that he began realizing the contours of the debate were completely skewed. “I pirated hundreds of songs during my college years,” he writes, “but I sensed disposability and devaluation infecting my relationship with music.”

Read the full article at Vice.

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