Sunday, March 04, 2007

Downloading Music for free is spelled T-H-E-F-T

I have been "online" since 1996. Got a copy of Doom 2 for "free." Purchased my first cd online from and books from Amazon in 1997.

In 1998 I downloaded my first MP3 - and fell in love with digital music, though broadband was nowhere in sight. Also bought my first cd-writer and began making and trading music.

In 2000, living in Saint Cloud I installed my cable internet myself, and never paid for it because they never did come to install it. I first downloaded Napster and Gnutella. I loved "free" stuff - and found not just music but videos and software.

Kazaa in 2001.

But I slowly got sick of the poor quality and reliability of "free" stuff. Some were the wrong files. Many files were cumbersome to install, and when installed didn't work perfectly. Some didn't work at all. Some even contained viruses.

But the PC world is morally corrupt. It is the culture created around it. PC Owners from America in 1990 to China in 2006 all have enjoyed pirating and copying files of all types. Though many do pay for these programs, many more enjoy using them for "free."

Not that buying an Imac changed my opinion. Purchasing most of my music used, I didn't really think I was supporting artists much anyways. The library doesn't mind assisting either.

But not all music is easily accessible. Itunes makes it easy to find music I like. It isn't that expensive and money still goes to the artists. I can find what music tracks are popular - buy those ones and forget the rest of the disc (unless I get it).

But I cannot find myself downloading a filesharing program on my Imac. I have no worry about viruses. But from an ethical standpoint, if I don't purchase what I appreciate who will? Who will pay for the next season of Doctor Who? Okay, yeah British taxpayers - but still. What you like should be supported when you can. Otherwise no one will.

So that is my stance. If you can support your favorite artists, please do. Even if you got an album online for free, buy it and give as a gift. Whoever you give it to will appreciate it, in addition to the artist being supported.

I love independent music in addition to a select few popular artists. The American Assn. of Independent Music in addition to others support paying for music. I used to hate the RIAA, but it is true that the industry is facing hard times. Support the music you love, with more than a click of the mouse but a few quarters from your piggy bank.

Visit Music United for more details on the issue.

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