2003.12.05

During the recent Thanksgiving Holiday a conversation arose with family about the InterWeb, and the subject of downloading music. I think that if you ask the ‘average citizen’ who is not immersed in the web on a daily basis if it’s legal to download music, you might get quite a few ‘no’ answers, which is probably one of the goals of the RIAA, to create confusion among people, and make them think they might be doing something wrong, etc.

I tried to explain that there are many musicians and records labels that provide music for you to download free of charge, and this is perfectly legal as long as they own the rights to it, and that there are services that allow purchasing of music for a fee such as the iTunes Music Store.

The idea that it’s “illegal to download music” has to go away. I can record an original song today, upload it to this web site, and allow you to download it. That’s not illegal. Yes, it’s quite true that many people attempt to distribute things they do not own the rights to, and that ain’t right… People need to respect the copyright holder’s rights.

And that whole “filesharing” term has to go away too. I share files. A lot of them. This web site probably has a thousand files that I share. But for each one of them, I’ve got the right to share them. I just shared this file with you, and you’re using it, and we’ve broken no laws…

Want to download some music for free? Try some of these sites:

There’s more out there… these just tend to correspond to the types of stuff I listen to, which does not really fit into the category of popular music. If all you listen to is popular music, you might try to expand you mind a bit and listen to things put out by people who are interested in having control over the things they create… just a suggestion… [This might be filed under: D.I.Y.]

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