Maybe the RIAA is right after all?

Maybe the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is right after all. Maybe we are all criminals. Maybe we're all in it just for the free music, with no regard for the people who create the music we love.

A while ago I was in a Borders bookstore, browsing through the music, when I overheard two people discussing an album. There was obvious interest in the album but what disturbed me most was the cavalier attitude about purchasing it. The one person said to the other that she wanted the album, but instead would go and download it. Now, I'm not sure what downloading meant in this case (iTunes or eMusic what-not) but the impression I got was that this album wasn't worth her taking her money out and purchasing, yet the contents were worth picking up through less-than-legal means.

What the hell?

I don't get it. If the album is worth obtaining in any fashion, it's worth compensating the artists at the very least. Would you sneak into a concert, sit with a recording device in full view of the artist to record their performance, and then rush the merchandise booth to grab all the albums you could and walk out? Would you take an album from the store without paying for it? In essence, that is exactly what you're doing when you say you'll download an album without paying for it.

Look, I don't like how recording companies tend to screw their artists any more than anyone else, and I certainly think they're being underhanded in their lawsuits, but if this is how you retaliate by downloading music without compensating those who brought it to you, then I support the companies suing you for copyright infringement.

I don't like how things are going in the recording industry, but to give them just cause isn't helping. Either buy the album, or settle without hearing it. Don't make it harder on the rest of us by stealing it.

If you like it, buy it. Support or abort.