Illegally downloading music shouldn’t be illegal

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Editor,
Over the years, advances in technology have had a huge impact on music – from gramophones all the way to iPods. Now music is available at the click of a button. Downloading songs on the Internet is easily accessible, fast, and unfortunately, also illegal.

I saw on the news the other day a young man facing ridiculous charges of over  $200,000 for downloading songs. I feel downloading music should not be illegal, and people should not be charged for obtaining music off the Internet.

Music is an art of expression as well as a means of invoking emotion. Therefore all people should be allowed to freely enjoy all music.

William Shakespeare once said, “If music be the food of love, play on.”

Everyone on this planet is deserving of love; everyone has the right to listen to music. In an ideal world, music would be free everywhere. However, we do not live in an ideal world.

Many adolescents today are not aware that downloading songs off the Internet is illegal. It is easy to find free music on the Internet. There are countless sites that provide free songs. This leads to the impression that it is perfectly legal to use them. Unfortunately, many kids blindly download all those cool songs. Little do they know that they could be charged thousands of dollars from copyright laws.

If teenagers do not even know that downloading songs off the Internet is illegal, then companies should not be allowed to prosecute them for a crime they were unaware of committing.

That is why it is in the best interests of music companies to make sure the public, especially young adults, are better informed of the laws on downloading music. Music companies can do this through advertising, or make commercials about illegally downloading music and how it is a crime.

If big companies do not want to spend the time or money on such things, then they must not be too concerned about people downloading music online.

I understand that just because “everyone is doing it” is not a legitimate excuse for downloading copyrighted music. However, what should definitely be looked into is how everyone is so easily downloading music. Why are there so many available sites on the Internet today where anyone can easily download any amount of songs they want? 

Music companies should stop putting the blame on the people who find the illegal songs and start pointing fingers at the Internet sites that provide all this illegal content. The people creating these sites should be made aware of the consequences of their decisions to make such files available to the general public. Additionally, if theses sites were shut down, there would be no available sites for people to go to. The site creators should be charged with the illegal copying and uploading of music.

Leif Wilm

UPEI student

Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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