Music downloaders may pay price for free tunes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Music downloaders may pay price for free tunes

June 26, 2003
Lee County-The alternative group Incubus is one of Zach McBrayer and Josh Hale's favorite bands.

 "I have downloaded every one of their songs from the Internet," said 17-year-old McBrayer.

 Zach's been downloading music since he got a computer four years ago. But that hasn't stopped him from buying an Incubus CD every time one is released.

"I have every album that I've bought from the stores too," he said. "I actually bought a CD two days ago from Target."

 Zach admits a lot of people download the music because it's free.

"That's mine and Jordan's philosphy on downloading music. That is we if like it, we're going to go and get it."

But the recording industry has had enough. Over the next two months, the Recording Industry Association of America will file lawsuits against people with large collections of downloaded music.

"Because they're public, there are tools we can utilize to identify not just the infringing material being offered up, but the individuals offering up that infringing material," said Frank Creighton of the Recording Industry of America.

The Recording Industry says the crackdown is necessary to protect musicians. CD sales are down, and the music business is hurting. One group formed to protect digital rights, calls the industry a digital bully.

"The idea that you're going to sue the American public into submission is an idea I don't think is going to work out well for the recording industry," said Fred Von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Music lovers like Zach are willing to spend their cash even as they download. So the next time Incubus puts out a CD, Zach will add it to his collection.

"They take their time to make the music, and I want to buy it."

posted at 9:55 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com