“Downloading music without paying for it is a crime largely devoid of social stigma” | iLounge News


“Downloading music without paying for it is a crime largely devoid of social stigma”

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You know, the bigger problem here is that all of you music snobs are busy DLing emo shite like Yo La Tengo or the Strokes, but have to realize that there are a gazillion kids that don’t mind DLing crappy-sounding 128 or 192 MP3’s of 50 Cent or Brittaney that takes away from sales. Does the Industry churn out clap trap? Of course. Will they change because some Morrissey wanna-be with a hip mop-top complains? Don’t think so.

Posted by angry_black_man on February 2, 2004 at 4:14 PM (CST)


The use to make like 50cents but now that they charge us 20bucks for a 50cent cd, they make a dollar or two i just read someplace, mind you those are probably the highest paid -

Posted by Chris on February 2, 2004 at 4:26 PM (CST)


Furthermore, copyright infringement is a civil case, whereas theft is criminal. They sure are not the same thing, no matter what propaganda the RIAA would like you to believe.

Posted by Sraphim on February 2, 2004 at 4:37 PM (CST)


I could be wrong, but I heard that Madonna is the artist that receives the most money per cd sale… and thats, i think, about 1.50 - 2 bucks

Posted by Schiano on February 2, 2004 at 4:38 PM (CST)


Following the same argument by RIAA, is it illegal to buy used CD’s…the artist doesn’t receive any compensation?  Also, are not public libararies violating copyrights by lending books…the author is only receiving one fee and yet many people are reading the books/  It’s time we examine the whole copyright law!!

Posted by Pete on February 2, 2004 at 4:53 PM (CST)


in theory downloading music dose no break copywrite law - because no profit is being made if im correct..

Now if you were downloading these songs/cds and then burning cds and selling them for say 5 dollars a pop - that would break copywrite laws.

**thats just my understanding**

Posted by Chris on February 2, 2004 at 4:57 PM (CST)


“are not public libararies violating copyrights by lending books…the author is only receiving one fee and yet many people are reading the books”

Most industrialised countries—excepting the US but including Canada—operate a par-per-book public lending fee. Libraries keep records of which Author’s books are borrowed and increment their record.s For each loan, the author gets a tiny amount, like half a cent or so. When the amount reaches something reasonable, like $100, that amount is forwarded to the Author’s agent or business manager.

The US has always been bad about rewarding artists for their work. Don’t forget that up until the the 20th century the US refused to recognise copyrights of non-USians. Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde were among many big-name artists at the time who spoke out constantly about the US “stealing” their work without paying.

Posted by Libraries on February 2, 2004 at 6:20 PM (CST)


No, Chris, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether the illegal downloader is then selling the download, it has to do with whether the artist’s or author’s profit is being impacted by the illegal download. Fair use also has to do with the furthering of american ingenuity and the exchange of ideas etc.  That’s why copying for educational not commercial purposes is allowed - to a certain extent. Libraries can check out books because they’ve bought the book and they’re loaning it to you for a short period of time. Photocopies of material in the library gets trickier - only a certain number of articles from one journal permitted etc.
Don’t think you all are just sticking it to The Man, i.e. music corps, ya know? You’re impacting the artist too, who no longer has sole control over his work, because you’ve stolen it. Here’s a primer on “Ten Myths About Copyright” at http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

Posted by Ann on February 2, 2004 at 6:29 PM (CST)


if im not mistaken befor the riaa started all of the wars against file sharing wernt cd sales up?

Posted by Chris on February 2, 2004 at 6:34 PM (CST)


Its only in the latest 1% of human history that ANY artist or record label has profited from any kind of music… And thous it will remain -

Record sales are going down and never coming back up… And there is nothing wrong about it - and nothing anyone can do to stop it.

This whole discussion is sort of like the whole thing about the human race “really deep down beeing a peacefull creature”—Bollocks !!!

My CD buying is down 99% and will stay that way - I know what it will bring - a change -  and I dont feel the least bad about it.


Posted by SaM on February 2, 2004 at 7:01 PM (CST)


Chris, your blind, ignorant arguments have been carried on in every forum on the internet for four years now.  Do a little research and get a clue. 

I download illegally, but at least I know what laws I’m breaking.

Posted by Jeremy on February 2, 2004 at 7:06 PM (CST)


Well.  I actually am the author of this article, so let me clarify a few things.  If you read the entire piece, you’ll notice that I never said anything about if file sharing SHOULD be legalized (because it resembles other media sharing, like taping a show with your VCR, for example), nor anything about the RIAA being a benevolent institution (I hate them as much as anyone).  I just wanted to point out that when we download, we are all willing criminals; we know what we are doing is illegal, and we still do it…but then we’re outraged when we get in trouble for it!  It’s about accountability.  I download, and I hate the RIAA and all that, but if someone sues me, well….i guess i knew all along that was a risk i was taking. 

And while it’s not about morality, there is a reason that downloading is illegal, which I wanted to remind people of.

That being said.  Even if you didn’t like the article and hate my views so much that you want to, like, eat my firstborn child, I appreciate that you took the time to read it and respond.  This is a cool website, I’m glad i ended up on it, i think.

just for the record: i worship my ipod like it is God himself, which im pretty sure is going to land me in hell, but eternal damnation is a risk im willing to take if I can carry 10,000 songs around with me in my pocket.

Posted by Gina on February 2, 2004 at 11:17 PM (CST)



You’re kinda hot soundin’....


Posted by angry_black_man on February 3, 2004 at 12:08 AM (CST)


I wish that radio would go out because the Clear Channel and the RIAA make more money if there are only 5 current songs a quarter than from producing many more (remember the 80s, there were a hell of a lot more records out there).

The problem with that is that the artist that are played the most make astronomically larger amounts of money than everyone else, thus reinforcing the vicious stupid cycle.  What we need is to follow the EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation, http://www.eff.org ) business model proposed for legal file sharing.  The RIAA is clinging onto an outdated business model because of their investments in the production… manufacturing and distribution are costs #1 and #2 for the record labels…  There would be massive amounts of downsizing and jobs lost in the industry… but if you work in the betamax factory, you’re kind of asking for it unless you have a backup plan… like working in the tape cassette or 8 track factory.  Oh well, evolution goes and the result will be better for the consumers and especially will level out the playing field for the artist.

If anybody didn’t know, the RIAA is just like the MPAA, trying to get rid of the VCR a number of years ago… it was a 4-1 decision, with the deciding vote being a swing vote at the last minute…. that close to being 86 VCRs….


Posted by Steve on February 3, 2004 at 12:56 AM (CST)


That being said, the main reason I never got into downloading mp3s was because every song you find is in a crappy resolution or is incomplete or labeled incorrectly.  Uggh.


Posted by Steve on February 3, 2004 at 1:18 AM (CST)


Then Steve you are one of those people - some kind of vissionaries - one in a million.

And the masses have all the say in it - people like me. I would not pay 50 cent for a produkt I could download for free. Therefore its all a matter of time - mainly time for people to become more dependant on the computer and acuire more skills using it. In a generation or two - all Artist will make money doing concerts - NOT by recording albums or music.

It was thous in the ages before -


Posted by SaM on February 3, 2004 at 4:54 AM (CST)


I personally have bought every piece of music i have on my iPod, if i like the artist (and he/she wouldnt be on my iPod if i didnt) why shouldn’t that person make money out of me enjoying their work? 

I think the best option would be the ability (say on the artists website) to download a trial version of the song/album one that lasts for say 5 plays and then is disabled, if you like the song go and buy it if not then you wouldnt want to download it anyway

just my thoughts

Posted by bryan on February 3, 2004 at 5:21 AM (CST)


Gina, thankyou for such a well written article. I agree with you on many points.

I’ve always made note to avoid the whole downloading thing, because ever since the day napster launched, I knew that a) it was illegal, and b) people need to be paid. part b is especially important here in Australia, as even some our bigger bands struggle to get by (there’s no insane extravagance like some US artists exhibit). It’s always annoyed me that people over-simplified where the money goes (ie. 1% artist, 99% label). You’ve nicely put into words that there are many who need to be paid for their services. As a graphic designer, it’s is nice to be paid for any kind of packaging (I’m certainly not there to crop a square image out of the goodness of my heart, as heart only pays for so many bills).

So let the kids suffer the consequences of their downloading sprees, I say.

As always to the argument that ‘it’s like radio’ and ‘sampling songs’. yes it happens, but it’s only in a tiny minority of p2p users. Most just keep downloading and figure what’s the point of going to buy it now that they already have it on their harddrive.

Bryan. Much better idea. Japanese artists have long known this, and nearly every artist’s official site for the past 3/4 years as had realaudio samples (usually about 45s worth - so not to dissimilar to iTunes or your local Borders store). Very handy. Plus some savvy Western artists do the same. The Flaming Lips in particular have an audio player (flash) on their site where you can hear about 14 different songs over 4 albums in their entirety. If a band offers no opportunity to have a sample listen to their music, than I can understand the brief trip to kazaa to an extent. But artists that take the effort should be rewarded with out cash for sure.

Posted by Nathan on February 3, 2004 at 6:11 AM (CST)


What I don’t understand is why are the prices of cds (which have been around over 20 years) are around the same price as new release DVDs?

The stores are gouging. Who makes the least amount of $$ off cd sales? The artist. If the record companies are so concerned about the artists money, they should give them a bigger piece of the pie.

Personally I have hundreds of CDs, I used to have hundreds of albums.  I usually buy imports but at 35 bucks a pop, I’m sick of buying a cd and finding only 1 good song.
Now I dl new releases, and IDO BUY THE CD IF IT IS GOOD.  I got sick of buying stuff that sucked.  My money doesn’t go on forever.

I have a high end audio system and I want the best version out there.
I still buy the records and go to the concerts to give the artists money.

If I could buy cds directly from the artist for 10 and they could pocket the whole thing I’d do it.

Posted by owen03 on February 3, 2004 at 8:19 AM (CST)


Owen, if you would prefer all the money goes to the artist, who is going to record the album, mix the album, produce the album, do the cover art, promote the band, handle legalities, manage the band (etc. etc. etc.). None of this gets done for free.

by the way, have you ever noticed that most record stores have listening stations? if you’re sick of buying stuff that sucks, why not ask the store if you can give it a listen first? I do it all the time.

Posted by Nathan on February 3, 2004 at 9:47 PM (CST)

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