Recording industry should suck it up and stop being so greedy

Amber North

When I set up my computer in my dorm early this semester, I overlooked the various guidelines ResNet gave us.

The one restriction that caught my eye was the “No File-Sharing programs” listed.

So along with the plethora of limitations we already go through at Western, now we’re not allowed to download music.

This file-sharing garbage hasn’t really done anything but anger more people – especially college students.

We already have to deal with paying ridiculous amounts of money to buy books that we don’t really need and Western paraphernalia on campus. Now we’re told that we have no other choice but to chuck up $18 to buy a CD.

If you’re a music geek like I am, then you’ll understand this rant.

I buy CDs regularly. Probably too much. It’s an unhealthy addiction that I have. I personally chose not to download entire CDs from file-sharing programs, but I still don’t think it’s wrong.

But I do enjoy making a compilation of songs on a CD, as well as listening to bootlegs and imports from different bands. And in case you didn’t know, bootlegs and imports are expensive.

I think that file sharing is the best way to compile your own CDs because you are your own deejay by choosing your own variety of music.

File-sharing programs also may contain a CD that cannot be found in corporate stores like Tower Records or Sam Goody. Sure, or Yahoo may have that CD you’re looking for, but you’d still have to cough up money for the album plus shipping and handling.

Most college students don’t want to deal with that when they can conveniently download the album free of charge.

Sites like, where you can download songs for 99 cents, or, where you pay 79 cents per song, have tried to make it fair and legal.

But it’s far from fair, especially after artists have taken their names off sites’ lists to allow people to download their songs. Yet again, our choices are limited.

Recording artists whine that file sharing is causing them to lose money. And as they whine about this, they’re pulling out of the driveway of their sprawling mansion. Give me a friggin’ break.

It is too inevitable for the music industry to cry about this situation, especially in the age where MP3 players, blank CDs and CD burners are popular.

Whether someone borrows a CD from a friend to burn or download from a file sharing program, what difference would it make?

It’s the fact that the programs are making money from the downloads that bothers the music industry. Shawn Fanning was crucified for creating Napster four years ago. And for what? All he did was expose the world of free music to music lovers.

The major downside of downloading is that people take full advantage of living in a capitalistic country, wanting to make a profit off the CDs they burn from a site. But it is still unfair to think that everyone will want to do the same.

The music industry has gotten so neurotic over this that they have the file-sharing Gestapo – the Recording Industry Association of America – suing people for downloading music.

The RIAA has sued a 12-year-old and a 71-year-old grandfather. It’s insane how money-greedy the industry has become.

It’s time for these guys to suck it up and realize that the only way we’ll take heed to their constant bickering is if they stop demanding consumers to cough up more dough.

Amber North is a sophomore print journalism major from Nashville.

The opinions expressed in this commentary do not represent the Herald, Western or its administration.