It started on Saturday, when Emily White, a 20-year-old NPR intern, admitted that she's really only ever paid for about 15 CDs in her life, but she has over 11,000 songs in her iTunes. She collected the songs from mix CDs, her college radio station's music library (which she worked at), other people's iTunes, and, yes, some illegal downloading, and she (apparently) doesn't feel too bad about not paying these artists any money for the music she enjoys every day.
And boy did the shit fly.
Really, White didn't say anything that isn't already true for a whole bunch of other people. She was just given a platform in which to say it. But, even if I initially wanted to roll my eyes and walk away from it, her post has spurred a discussion that should've happened years ago. A number of musicians have come out to defend paying for music, music fans are coming clean about their downloading habits and discussing when it's okay, when it's not okay, and thinking about what it means to share music without artist compensation.
The funniest response is from Yo La Tengo. She named them in her post as a band whose music she got for free and yesterday they Tweeted this: