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

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

“I hope I’ve drawn your attention to the fact that, no matter how many people smoke out or download music, both actions are illegal. While the punishments for doing either may vary, doing either makes you a law-breaker. [...]

But your parents wouldn’t approve of your underage drinking, nor would they be excited to know that you were speeding and they sure as hell wouldn’t buy you a bong—but they would buy you an iPod. Downloading music without paying for it is a crime largely devoid of social stigma; it is much more socially acceptable than, say, stealing a real CD. The Recording Industry Association of America would say downloading music is the same thing as going into Amoeba and shoving a CD in your pants Empire Records style, but I disagree—downloading isn’t stealing, it’s infringing on copyright law, which is something entirely different.”

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Comments

41

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.

I agree with the first part of your statement. If I go 75 in a 55 zone and get pulled over I can blame nobody but myself. I knowingly violated the law and got caught. Now I have to face the consequences. HOWEVER, I most certainly do not agree with the RIAAs tactics. Using the DMCA to force ISPs to hand out identities of users without due process is not the way to go. We have a concept of ‘presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law’. By issuing mass subpoenas on the mere suspicion of copyright infringement this concept is thrown out the window. Luckily the DC federal appeals court put an end to this.

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

Yes, and the reason is that powerful organizations such as the RIAA and MPAA use their money and lobbyist to push laws that protect their outdated marketing models. We heard the same arguments when the TV came out. Nobody is going to go to the movie theater anymore if they can just watch it at home for free. Then the VCR came about and that one went all the way to the supreme court. Quite ironically Hollywood makes more money on video tapes and DVDs today than on movie theater revenue. Instead of trying to put the horse back into the barn and suing 12 year olds and grandmas the RIAA would be better served to offer compelling legal alternatives to illegal downloading. And I mean COMPELLING alternatives such as what Warp Records is doing. I know the following statement is not going to be perceived well on this forum but for me iTunes is not a compelling alternative. I will sooner start listening to my refrigerator humm before I start buying into the RIAA/iTunes DRM scheme.

Posted by Marc on February 4, 2004 at 1:11 PM (PDT)

42

More people are interested in and listening to and have access to more music now then at any point in history.

That can only be good for music, musicians and fans in the long run.

The times they are a changing.

Posted by loGan on February 5, 2004 at 9:45 AM (PDT)

43

I would love to get free music without paying and no crime.

Posted by Tameka on April 19, 2009 at 1:44 PM (PDT)

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