Why don’t I mess with file-sharing services?

‘Cause of stuff like this right-cheer

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — After battling a suburban family for four years over music downloads, the recording industry has agreed to accept $7,000 — paid in installments — to settle its federal piracy lawsuit.
If approved by a judge, the settlement will end a well-publicized tussle that began with five record companies accusing Patricia Santangelo, a mother of five, of illegally downloading and distributing music.

Yeah, I know, that’s one family out of how many? Still though, I’d really rather not take the chance. I know the advantages people tout of services like that, and I can see where they’re coming from — like, say, you can download one or two songs off a cd you buy before you actually plunk down the cash. But I’d just rather not take the chances of being snared in that legal net. I know the business model has changed drastically from what it used to be before the advent of broadband and mp3s, and I know people also try to justify it by saying things like “the artist makes more off merchandise and concert ticket sales than recordings anyway,” and I can see that point as well — but if the record companies backing the artists don’t want you to download the music for free, I think that should be taken into consideration, especially given that, from what I understand, the record companies front the artists at least a portion of the costs for recording and marketing the music. It might seem heavy-handed on the part of the record companies, but isn’t it just their taking action to protect their investment? I’ll freely admit I used Napster once upon a time, but I downloaded maybe 10-15 songs from one cd that was out of print. If I could have gone to the store and got the cd I would have done that; I later found the cd on eBay for what I would have paid for it in the stores. And the only other online music service I’ve ever used was the Apple iTunes store. (It’s pretty nifty too…if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a brick-n-mortar store, just go to iTunes and search for it and you’re likely to find it. I found what’s probably the definitive George Jones hits collection there.) I guess you could say I am still a bit ambivalent about the whole thing…if the artists pay for the production and marketing of the music themselves and want to make it available for free download that’s great, but if they don’t want to do that I just don’t think we as fans should disregard that either. Thoughts?

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