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Attitudes Towards Downloading Free Music

Apr 10, 2008
By downloading music to your computer you are forcing the music industry to undergo what is probably its most significant change yet, and that's a good thing. Many artists are now distributing their music directly through their own websites, and offer samples and previews to download or stream.

File sharing techniques, are also very popular amongst music downloaders, but the the major record labels, represented by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), maintain that this practise is an infringement of copyright, and are trying to stamp it out in favour of promoting purchases of CDs or downloads from licensed sites.

Is it wrong to share?

Many of the RIAA's tactics are regarded as unfair and excessive, and the situation has got to the point where some artists are beginning to distance themselves from the record companies, claiming that the industry is not acting on their behalf.

Chuck D of 'Public Enemy' has said; "Lawsuits on 12-year-old kids for downloading free music & duping a mother into paying a $2,000 settlement? Those tactics are pure Gestapo".

He has also stated in a testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, investigation into file sharing; "Technology giveth and it taketh away, and the industry knows this. The horseshoe makers probably got upset at the train manufacturers because (the new industry) took away their transport dominance, just as the train manufacturers probably got mad at the airline industry. I think this expands artistry and it's about adjustment. The record industry is hypocritical and the domination has to be shared. P2P to me means 'power to the people'. Let's get this to a balance, and that's what we're talking about."

More artists' opinions

Michael Jackson

"I am speechless about the idea of putting music fans in jail for downloading music. It is wrong to illegally download, but the answer cannot be jail. Here in America we create new opportunities out of adversity, not punitive laws and we should look to new technologies, like Apple's new Music Store for solutions. This way innovation continues to be the hallmark of America. It is the fans that drive the success of the music business; I wish this would not be forgotten."


"I understand how it will help life for unsigned bands. It is definitely a window to showcase a lot of bands that probably wouldn't be getting to hear from a lot of these majors. And if they can't regulate it to where the artist gets paid, well, then it's not that great of an idea because even the unsigned artists, at some point, they're going to want to get paid for their things also."


The record industry claims that file sharing is responsible for the downturn in sales over the last few years, but others have argued that it is the music companies themselves that are the ones to blame.

So while the recording industry litigates and sues people, the clever musicians are taking full advantage of the Internet. They have confidence that by distributing their material independently they can maintain control of their work, create a bigger fan-base, and sell more tickets & merchandise.

Is this the way forward, only time will tell, but it is certainly becoming more accepted that downloading music from the Internet is probably the best vehicle for discovering new bands and helping quality talent grow.
About the Author
Jon Mills has created the TotalDownloader website which provides information on downloading techniques, increasing your speeds, maintaining anonymity, and much more. So get started now with your free 6 part course at TotalDownloader.com
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