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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Illegal downloads monitored, violators prosecuted

The marvelous success of Appleís iPod has brought about a change in the music world. One cannot walk down the street without seeing someone with white earbuds, bobbing their head or lip-syncing the words to their favorite artist.

But as the individualís iTunes libraries grow, the downloaded music is not always legal.

The amount of illegitimate music available on the Internet is astounding, making it no surprise artists and record companies alike are taking notice.

There are billions of dollars being lost by the music industry everyday at the hands of user deciding not to purchase music. Some believe it is just too expensive considering all the new free ways of getting any song, anywhere, anytime.

The downloading world came to national attention in November 2001 when Lars Ulrich, drummer of the rock band Metallica, decided to sue Shawn Fanning, a 23-year-old college student. Fanning is the creator of the original music-ripping website, Napster.

Formed from his own idea of sharing the music between him and his fellow classmates on his college campus, Napster soon grew to be the forerunner in the online music-sharing world.

Soon after newer, more elaborate sites and programs appeared all promising faster downloading, more music to choose from and safer file sharing.

These huge online music libraries have not only caught the eyes of the music-crazed society, but the attention of the music industry as well.

Newspapers began running articles on small town high-school students and blue collar citizens who were taken to court by the huge music conglomerates. All with one message stop the downloading or it could result in a $100,000 fine.

It may seem a little ridiculous to sue high school students that are randomly picked from millions of people downloading illegally everyday, but their message worked.

The illegal downloading began to slow as people quit boasting about their music collections. Granted there are some left, still choosing to risk downloading from software such as Limewire, Kazaa and Bittorrent.

Websites have now been created in compromise of these problems. Napster and Limewire now offer premium software packages for a minimal fee per month, in exchange for unlimited downloading. Also iTunes now sells songs individually for $0.99 from their Apple Music Store.

Whatever preference, remember that purchasing an actual album at one time was not considered such an outrageous acquisition. Downloading music still holds the threat of fines, viruses, and guilt from the lack of appreciation shown to the artist. Paying a nominal fee might not be such a waste considering the amount of bang for a buck.

For more information on purchasing online music visit www.apple.com or www.napster.com.

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