Internet Killed The Radio Star

By Lizzy Sebuck

Remember LimeWire? Back in the day LimeWire was the go-to network application free music. LimeWire was a free peer-to-peer file sharing program that is typically associated with the downloading of music and video in a few simple clicks. Now-a-days, if you want to download some large files, BitTorrent is the way to go (*not to say that the Occam’s Taser staff uses this technology. We’ve wised up since high school). Up until now, LimeWire provided quick and easy music downloads for those killer dance parties.

Turns out that, while LimeWire greatly assisted in the production of precious moments and slow dances everywhere, it wasn’t so awesome in terms of legality. On October 26, 2010 a U.S. federal court judge issued an injunction forcing LimeWire to prevent “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality” of its software. Because of this injunction newer versions of LimeWire 5.5.11 and onward have been disabled from use by all who have downloaded the program. While older versions of the program have not been affected, it is strongly advised that music downloaders use caution in their entertainment endeavors. Today when visitors go to the LimeWire website, the following warning appears and prohibits use of the rest of the website content,

ATTENTION

LimeWire is under a court order dated October 26, 2010 to stop distributing the LimeWire software. A copy of the injunction can be found here. LimeWire LLC, its directors and officers, are taking all steps to comply with the injunction. We have very recently become aware of unauthorized applications on the internet purporting to use the LimeWire name. We demand that all persons using the LimeWire software, name, or trademark in order to upload or download copyrighted works in any manner cease and desist from doing so. We further remind you that the unauthorized uploading and downloading of copyrighted works is illegal.

It’s obvious that the LimeWire network is now facing some serious punishment for facilitating illegal file sharing among its millions of users. Corporations aren’t the only ones who can face charges for illegal file sharing though. Individuals who download files illegally can also receive some pretty harsh punishment. So STOP! in the name of music.The law shows no love.

Not convinced that you could end up in a pickle because of illegal file sharing? The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lays down the law when it comes to music entertainment and piracy on it’s website. We suggest you click around their site to see the trouble illegal file sharing can lead to. Within this past year alone not only has the major LimeWire network been asked to do the time for the crime, but individuals have also been asked to pay up! Earlier in November a single mom from Minnesotan was ordered to pay $1.5 million in damages for sharing 24 songs on the Internet. Sheesh! That’s less than three Spice Girls CDs! Moms aren’t the only ones being grounded for once, a grad school student in Boston was fined $675,000 for his illegal downloading. So if I were you, I’d hit the ‘stop sharing’ button on that Glee Soundtrack you’ve been dying to share with your friends. Tell them to spend the measly fourteen bucks themselves.

Illegal downloading no longer your cup of tea?

So you’ve decided you’re not going to use illegal downloading programs anymore? Good for you. Don’t worry though, you’re not S.O.L., we can help you get your music fix and avoid the long arm of the law. It’s obvious through LimeWire’s example that sometimes technology can land you in trouble with “The Man”, but new music entertainment technology also allows for some pretty convenient alternatives to piracy fines.


For those of you who haven’t head of Pandora , it’s a pretty cool streaming radio network that allows users to listen to their favorite bands for free! Pandora also introduces users to bands that are similar to the genre of music they are looking for. Pandora is also available as a free application on the iPhone, and can come in handy providing you with pump-it-up jams for your morning commute. Are you more of a ‘right here, right now’ kind of person? If you want to hear a specific song right away, then maybe Pandora isn’t for you.

Grooveshark is like Pandora in the sense that you can use it on both your laptop or as an App on your iPhone, but a little better. Grooveshark allows users to pick the exact song they want to listen to, right then and there, rather than directing them to a band that might sound like what they want to hear. Grooveshark also has the radio streaming option just in case users are open to hearing some music suggestions.

File downloading isn’t dead though! You don’t just have to temporarily lease your tunes through a streaming website to rock out. With online radio streaming programs, users essentially borrow the tunes they want to hear for a temporary fix. Jamendo offers free music for download and sharing for it’s users. This means that Jamendo users can keep the music files on their computer to enjoy whenever they want. The Jamendo website cites that “Jamendo is a community of free and legal music published under Creative Commons licenses”, which is how they escape through the legal loophole. This license is a more flexible option unlike the “All-Rights Reserved” copyright licenses. Unlike an All-Rights reserved copyright, Creative Commons was established using a more flexible model, “some rights reserved” instead of “All Rights Reserved”. Users can also review and rate the music they hear, as well as donate to the artists they feel deserve their cash.


For those of you who do have some spare change , there are also music entertainment programs that allow you to download, keep, and pay for the songs that you want. One option is through Rhapsody, an online music service that has been around for the last decade. Ten years ago may seem prehistoric to some, but don’t ignore the great deals that this service provides. Rhapsody offers users unlimited music downloads for a mere $10.00 a month! Pretty sick deal compared to what could be a $750.00 piracy fine.

For those of you who want to stick to a more well-known brand, Apple created iTunes as a compatible music service for all of its Apple products. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and you don’t already know this, you don’t have to work off of a Mac to use iTunes though (Jobs & Wozniak don’t really care which computer users are giving them money). iTunes offers users TV show rentals for just 99¢ an episode , songs are priced at 69¢, 99¢, or $1.29, and full albums are usually under $15.00. With the Beatles as a new artist available on iTunes, users can purchase The Beatles Revolver for only $12.99.

So, LimeWire may or may not be dead. It’s going to be okay, gang! You have alternatives to piracy to get your music fix. Maybe if you download legally it will make you feel just as happy as your closet Cher infatuation.

SOURCES:
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
http://www.riaa.com/physicalpiracy.php?content_selector=piracy_online_the_law
Single Mom Ordered to pay 1.5 Million
http://newsone.com/nation/associatedpress2/single-mom-ordered-to-pay-1-5-million-for-24-illegal-music-downloads/
Illegal music download fine
http://mp3.about.com/b/2010/01/06/student-to-challenge-675000-illegal-music-download-fine.htm

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