Saturday, December 16, 2006

Downloaded Music

It seems like intellectual property rights aren't as hot of a topic now as they were a few years ago with the whole Napster mess. That's not to say that it's completely died out. In fact, many individuals still care about it...some care enough to express their opinion.

My neighbor Amanda was over here looking at my music on my computer and I was telling her how it was organized: this folder has albums that I actually own and this other one has ones that I don't. She said something about it "not being right" to have music that you didn't buy.

One quick thing: if you've never seen my physical CD collection, it's pretty decent. A few hundred discs. I'm not talking about burned discs either. I mean original presses that I bought or received as presents. I really don't think that I'm free-riding on the music industry.

Here's my take: a radio station pissed me off my freshman year of college and I pretty much quit listening to radio in general (except the Love Doctors, etc. when @ work). My computer was hooked up to the network at school, and lots of people gave me music. That was very good because I didn't really have another source for new (new to me) music. As it turns out, most of my early downloading was from sites like www.mp3.com where the artists put their songs for you to download because they want people to listen.

I have gone to concerts of bands that I first heard (or first heard a song I liked) by downloading their music. Probably the greatest example of this for me is Something Corporate. I bought a couple of their albums, went to a couple concerts (even more if you count seeing them at Warped Tour), and even got some merch. Stereophonics: ripped a couple CDs from Walker, but bought an album in London's Heathrow Airport while waiting for my connection to Madrid.

My most common means of keeping myself in check when it comes to music is by buying an album by an artist that I discovered by downloading. For instance, I have 2 new albums on my Christmas wish list by bands that I don't have a physical CD yet: The Decemberists and Copeland. Off the top of my head, I have bought albums from: Hawthorne Heights, AFI, Alkaline Trio, Before Braille, Copperpot, Coheed and Cambria, Dashboard Confessional, Hey Mercedes, Hot Rod Circuit, Moneen, Nada Surf, The New Amsterdams, Saves the Day, Sloppy Meateaters, & Story of the Year (and a related "A Day in the Life" as a present). There are a couple albums that I had downloaded that I decided to buy that same album because I liked it so much. Those bands are: Pedro the Lion, Before Braille (in addition to the one that I didn't own before).

Overall, I think that the music industry has got more money out of my pocked due to my downloaded music. It is not fair for people to just download and download and never buy anything...but not necessarily CDs. The band doesn't get that much money from CDs. Might as well download music and send them a check for a dollar. However, I think that if you just download music but go to concerts from those bands or buy their merch, then you are alright. This is also a case where extremity might play a role in determining if it's OK or not. Everything in moderation, right?
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