Music lovers finding ways around illegal downloading

By Justin Hallman
November 13, 2003

Cecelia Francisco

Free stuff is non-existent, especially music. In this make-money-quick society, everything has a dollar amount on it. While it wasn’t totally legal in the past, the idea of file sharing consisting of songs traded from user to user over the Internet on your home PC, was swept under the carpet. However, the mess is being cleaned up and dealt with across the country.

The Recording Industry Association of America has recently cracked down and taken this issue to the courtroom. Downloading music and sharing it across the information superhighway was deemed illegal once again by the RIAA, but this time enforced. However, the sharing of music would be permitted if a fee-based downloading service was in full effect, but the idea is slow to form.

iTunes, an online music marketplace that is totally legal has been created by Apple, the same company that produces Macintosh computers. The iTunes program has always existed on the desktops of Apple users, however the recent unveiling of the latest music program is available to Windows users as well. The new music store offers people behind the keyboard the opportunity to purchase songs they wish to hear, for 99 cents per song. This alternative is not only legal, but it gives the original artist some additional credit as well.

While the program and the idea is readily available, it has been slow to spread. Many people are not yet aware of their new option or just don’t feel like paying for something they were so accustomed to receiving for free.

One of the people who has taken to this new possibility is Cabrini College senior Ryan Dixon. While the prices can add up, it is totally legal. This has led Dixon to purchase 675 songs in the past seven months. Being legal raises many eyebrows, but the question is whether or not people will take to this new chance, spending dollar after dollar, or stick with comfortable conformity and continue illegally downloading songs free of charge.

The crack down from the RIAA and the revolutionary experiments by Apple might bring back some value to old Washington, but will consumers have the compliance to keep paying for each and every song they want to listen to? So far, the music industry (record labels) and the RIAA find it to be a viable solution. Apple takes about two-thirds of what it receives from online buyers and pays it to various record labels for the right to offer the music across iTunes.

The process isn’t over yet, but the ball is definitely rolling on this innovative creation from the people at Apple. Time will tell as the listening world decides on its best avenue to take.

Posted to the web by: Cecelia Francisco

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Justin Hallman

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