Friday, October 05, 2007

Downloads and the Lowdown on Jobs

The Recording Industry of America has notched its first win in a series of lawsuits against individuals accused of illegally downloading music from the internet.

A 30-year old single mother of two must pay fines and damages totaling $220,000 for snagging 24-songs off the internet.

Man oh man, I am glad that’s been stopped.
No telling where that woman would have ended up.
One day she’s downloading music, the next day she’s an axe murderer.
I can sleep better tonight.

Two thoughts on this topic:
Illegal downloading is stealing.
However, were I on the jury, based upon the facts that have been reported about this bizarre case, there would have been plenty of reasonable doubt whether this mom is guilty of what she's accused of doing.

The RIAA is out of synch, and clearly the punishment does not fit the crime here. Making an example out of this single mom is going to cost more in lost business and good will than they ever missed earning from allegedly stolen downloads.

(If you really like the music, if you really want to respect the artist, buy the tune. What, you can't spare 99-cents for a freakin' download?)

Secondly, if file sharing is such a threat to the music moguls, why are more and more bands choosing to release their work on-line for distribution? This is a situation that is really upside down, and the end result will be most harmful overall not to consumers: The real losers eventually will be the record companies.

Speaking of hype and hoopla beyond the norm: The anticipation over today’s jobs reports is reaching a fever frenzy. Experts expect unemployment to tick up from 4.6% to 4.7%.

Oh shock and horror!
Unemployment up to 4.7%??
Call the crash cart, we’re going to have a heart attack.

Listen—unemployment is still below 5%.
It doesn’t get too much better than that. 4.6%...4.7%...that means pretty much all the employable people in America who want to work have jobs.

As former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm once observed, that's an unemployment rate so low that even people on Welfare have jobs. Probably downloading music.

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