Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Sleep Just Fine

In my previous post, I gave quick reviews of a couple of CDs that came out just this week. I'm sure at least one or two of you are wondering if I actually went out and dropped 30 or so bucks on music. After all, this is a frugality blog, right?

Truth is, I didn't. Most of my music, in MP3 format, came from CDs that I actually bought in the past, both new and used. But when I want music I don't have, I use a Peer-To-Peer (P2P) network, aka free file sharing. Two common P2P sites for music file sharing are Limewire and Soulseek. I'm sure there are others, just as there are sites for sharing video, software and other files.

There is much debate over the ethics of file sharing. If you're interested in the arguments, just Google "ethics of file sharing". Personally, I don't have a problem with it, because I know that I'm not going to be making a profit from anything I download. I download only for my own personal use and enjoyment.

Share your similar or differing opinions if you like, but keep in mind that this post isn't an invitation to debate. There are better forums for that. I'm just making file-sharing known as a frugal resource for anyone who isn't bothered by the questions surrounding it.


DadGuy said...

I used to "pirate" music and software heavily when I was younger. I pretty much would do that or live without, I simply didn't have the money to purchase, but I really needed/wanted the software and/or music at the time.

Nowadays I try to be more honest in that if I really enjoy music or software I'll purchase it. For software I simply live without or purchase it. For music it's a bit more ambiguous. If it's easily available for purchase and I expect to listen to it often I'll purchase it. Often it is unavailable for purchase or I just want to hear something then decide, so I'll grab it through other means.

I'd feel a lot worse about the music side if I didn't know that less than 3% or so generally goes to the artists.

On the software side, I understand well the dilemma as that's the business I'm in. If our company didn't have somewhat draconian software protection our users simply wouldn't pay and we'd go out of business. (Even when we do have "paying" customers, they don't always want to pay even though our software saves them tons of time and resources they otherwise wouldn't have...)

It's definitely not a black and white issue, but I do think that there are definitely moral and immoral choices to be made there.

Sheila said...

In my opinion, using Limewire is just like if I had bought the CD then burned you a copy... which, I have done for people before with no problems.

John said...

I used Grokster several years ago, but not anymore and I keep away from the other file sharing software, but I have used altavista music search a few times to find some hard to find songs. I also buy tracks online from a few places when available. I watch TV online when I miss a show on regular television ( By the way I pay $110.00 a month for cable ) . I don't have a DVR at home. I really find nothing wrong this. If the RIAA, MPAA and others would put short commercials in their music/movies/TV ( at the beginning or end or songs or anywhere in shows or movies ) they could still make money and pay the artist and we wouldn't have these problems. As for software I buy it or use open source.

Annie Jones said...

Dadguy: I think the gray area on this issue is huge. For example, I would install software I purchased onto my daughter's or a friend's computer, but I wouldn't install it in an office of ten computers. What the difference is, I don't really know. There just seems to be one. Fortunately, I'm not a software junkie, so most of my downloads are P2P music. Like you, I realize that the artists aren't losing out on much when I don't buy their CD.

Sheila: I agree. I don't see much difference between downloading from P2P than picking up a CD at a garage sale for a buck or getting a copy of one from a friend.

John: The idea of commercials is interesting. Hadn't thought of that before. Thanks for stopping by and for the link. I have reciprocated; you're in my other resources section for all the tech info on your blog. :)