Illegal Music Downloaders, Beware

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Once upon a time — in a life long ago — I worked in the music industry, what was then known as the record business.

Records... what a quaint name for recorded music. For you downloaders out there, they were made of vinyl, which was generally black plastic, made from oil, just like gasoline.

To hear the record, you had to have a turntable... and a needle was involved.

I know... ancient times, dude.

But here's the thing. In those days, stealing music was actually illegal. Now there's a really quaint concept. Music was not free.

Businesses paid licenses to play music in their establishments, and every time a kid bought a record, the songwriter was paid a mechanical royalty. Mechanical meaning it was so automatic, it was... well... mechanical.

Even counterfeiters paid the mechanical royalty because the feds would come put you in leg irons for not paying your federal copyright royalty.

Now i know, technology is so important, and so empowering, the mere fact you can steal so easily — that's what downloading is — makes you feel that it must be right and legal.

Surprise. It's not. It is thievery.

I worked for a record company, a big one, so I know we should have no sympathy for them. They are just big bad corporate types, so no harm in doing something bad to them.

Trouble is... now they're going to do something bad to you, because you have been doing something illegal, and all you Sean Fanning (search)s of the world should have been in jail a long time ago.

It was fun while it lasted, right? But it's over. Heads up downloaders, here come the music business lawyers. And they're going to make you sell your car to pay the judgment against you.

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