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Thursday, October 30th, 2014


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Commentary: MP3 Downloading Doesn’t Hurt Recording Artists

(U-WIRE) SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – A group of famous songwriters and artists condemned the act of illegal downloading in "Who really cares about illegal downloading?," an article printed in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. The controversial question was born with the invention of Napster and other music sites.

But who really does care about downloading music? Besides students the world around, I am definitely content with getting my music for free.

With all the money that well-known musicians make, people who enjoy listening to their music should be allowed to hear them any way they want. If listeners have access to MP3 downloading over the Internet or if they decide to purchase a CD, the choice should be theirs.

Popular artists like Britney Spears argue that downloading their music via the Internet is illegal.

"Would you go into a CD store and steal a CD? It’s the same thing," Spears said in an Associated Press wire story.

Excuse me, Brit, but it is not the same thing. Last time I checked, it was the store that loses money from a shoplifter. In fact, stores lose more money annually than a multi-million dollar singer that loses $15. If Spears has a problem with her bank account, maybe she should cut the costs of all her plastic surgery. Oops, she did it again, didn’t she?

Artists like the Dixie Chicks also say that downloading music is wrong.

"It may seem innocent enough, but every time you illegally download music a songwriter doesn’t get paid," the Chicks said in the same AP wire article.

Has downloading become a moral issue?

Natalie Maines, your cowboys are already taking you and your sisters away into a world of wealth. Not to mention how much money you made on your new CD, "Home," which debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Country Album Charts. I doubt you will be left homeless because of the loss of a few bucks.

In an article from DeansPlanet.com, the editor-in-chief, Dean, disagrees with music artists campaigning against downloading and said, "How much money do these freaks need?" Exactly. You’re right Dean, especially when you said that the record industry and executives need to change the way they operate by either lowering the price of CDs or taking a pay cut.

The price of a CD is expensive, and paying $20 per month for access to the Internet is a bargain for people. Will Doherty, a spokesman for an online civil liberties organization, said that by arguing MP3 downloading, artists are destroying a new technology that provides alternative means of music distribution.

Local artists and bands who are just beginning did not have a voice among the 90 artists, leading me to believe that they are satisfied when people listen to their music, whether it’s free or not. Despite the fact that they are struggling to gain popularity; if people are listening to their music then that’s enough for them. If listeners hear new artists’ hits online and like them, the odds of these people going out and buying the CD in the future is high.

Until artists can figure out a way to profit from the technology of MP3 downloading, they probably won’t be happy. They should keep their opinions about it to themselves.

Copyright ©2003 The Mustang Daily via U-Wire

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