If you swap music online, check this out. I'm personally out of the music downloading business since it caused me nothing but grief and my conscience got the better of me. I'd much rather pay for the music I got. There's a theory that downloading music doesn't hurt anyone, but I'm thinking now that I downloaded three whole albums from someone whose music I enjoy and whose albums I always bought in the past. That's three albums not purchased in the store, which means a loss in revenue for the triumverate of department store/artist/recording company. One might argue that all three entities already have more money than they need -- which could very well be true -- but the same probably isn't true of Lizzie West, whose single "I'll See You Sometime" I downloaded. Lizzie who, you ask? Exactly -- she's brand new and probably doesn't have any name recognition and every day her singles are available for free online means less revenue for her. Madonna might not need more album sales, but up-and-coming artists don't make any money and since I can't differentiate between paying for Madonna versus paying for Lizzie, I'm going to have just suck it up and pay the money.
You wouldn't want to give away your work for free, would you? I mean, theoretically, I do that on this website every single day -- I let people read my writing for free and that's my choice, not a choice made by others for me. See the difference? Admittedly, writing isn't my sole way of making a living; it's a hobby, what I do for fun and so I have no qualms about letting people read what I write for free. If it were my only way of making a living, yeah, I'd be pretty upset if people were photocopying my stuff and passing it around free for the taking without my permission.
I know that I'm personally not going to change anyone's mind; the issue is so ingrained that this is a 'victimless' crime and no one gets hurt and everyone wins. The only way I think I'd continue to download music is if it were with the intent of actually buying the music after sampling it. Since I can't be sure that I'd actually buy the CD after sampling the music, it's easier just to get out of the business all together. I had reservations even before I started downloading and if anything, those reservations are stronger now than before.
Comments are being flaky. I guess YACCS is upgrading the software, servers or something.