By defaultuser
October 2, 2003

Solve this riddle: I am convenient to copy and give out as presents. I am the life of the party. I can help you relax and do homework. I can cost you up to $150,000 a pop if you have too many of me. What am I?

The answer to this riddle is a downloaded song. The last clue in the riddle is becoming a reality many of us will have to face because the Recording Industry Association of America is cracking down on illegal file sharing and downloading of songs.

This lawsuit especially hits home to college students. Many have downloaded songs from the Internet and have well-over 1,000 songs, which is the magic number for the RIAA to start suing individuals. The RIAA is started with the people with 1,000 songs; pretty soon it will target 750 songs, then 500 songs, then 250 songs-you get the picture.

Many people do not understand how severe the lawsuit is, or that it could affect a student at Cabrini, since colleges are a major contributor to the sharing of songs. Everyone with downloaded songs could eventually become a target of the lawsuit. It might be only a matter of time before it happens. If students believe they are protected behind the gates of Cabrini and the wireless system of their dorm room, they need to think again. If a sixth grader was sued in Manhattan, who is to say a college student in Radnor, Pa., will not be targeted next?

The Loquitur staff is divided on the issue. One half thinks the RIAA is doing the right thing by cracking down on the individuals. They believe the songs are the artist’s property and taking the songs without permission and not paying for them is the same as shoplifting. The record companies lose money when songs are downloaded because less CDs are being bought, so an up-and-coming company may have problems supporting its specific artist. The other half believes the songs are out there for people to use and to use at their own will; why else would the songs be on the Internet anyway? They see downloading songs as good things because they discover new artists and then want to buy their CD or go to their concert.

What everyone agrees on is the RIAA will not back down anytime soon. The threat has been coming for five years now, and it has finally come to light. If you have downloaded songs, you need to re-evaluate your position-are you willing to face the consequences and shell out between $750 and $150,000 for your favorite song?

Posted to the web by: Cecelia Francisco

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