Music and you

How do you get your music? Well, there are really only two ways you can answer this question. Option A: You buy your music. Whether you head off to HMV or on iTunes, you trade your hard-earned cash in return for music. Option B: You download your music via the Internet. You use a site like or to access your music supply, not paying a cent for it, of course.
Now the person who buys their music is going to let those who download music know about it. Why? Because they feel compelled to let you know that you are ripping someone off, that you are stealing someone’s hard earned money.

Downloaders love to talk about music but seldom reference where they have obtained their tunes. These people , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), are also known as the majority of the Canadian population, as they reported in 2005 that Canada has the largest amount of file sharers per capita in the world (although this statistic has been disputed by experts).

Now, there are exceptions of course. Many of my friends and I buy the majority of our music. These purchases usually occur at concerts when I hit up the merch’ stand, although there have been times when I have gone to local music stores to pick up an album or two. But I don’t tend to scream and preach to those who currently download their music. What they choose to do is up to them, not for me to govern.

No matter what group you fall into, you probably have heard of LimeWire. If not, allow me to explain. LimeWire is a program that allows active users to share files between computers through a peer-to-peer file sharing. The touchy side of LimeWire was that it was infringing on copyrights that were placed on music by different record labels.

As a result of copyright infringements, in late October of this year, the U.S. District Court in New York forced LimeWire to shut down and to stop distributing its software. A legal notice was then placed on the popular website stating, “This is an official notice that LimeWire is under a court-ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its fire-sharing software. Downloading or sharing copyrighted content without authorization is illegal.”

This once again raises the debate of whether it is ethical to download or file share music. I am not going to make up your mind for you on this topic, but rather encourage you to make up your own.

I choose to buy my music to support musicians. There are a good number of musicians out there trying to make it big, and every dollar helps. When a local band puts out their CD for purchase I have no problem buying it because I know that my money is helping them further themselves along. On the other hand, I buy music for the sake of having a hard copy to carry around with me. I could download music on iTunes and put it on my iPod, but to me there is something significant about having the original CD itself.

Some decide to download because of ease of access. It is simple to type your desired title into a search box and to click the download, but you follow the same formula when using iTunes. This ultimately causes me to conclude that people download, not for the sake of convenience, but for the sake of not paying a cent for their music. Now, as for the people who say that you are ripping off the music artist: If the download was not accessible to you, would you actually end up buying the hardcopy? How bad do you want that track?

Those are a few questions for you to ponder the next time you go about obtaining music, in one form or another.