Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Hey kid! Stop all the downloadin'!

Well, turn out the lights -- the party's over. We Canadians are getting nailed with a one-two punch aimed at halting music downloading (even though it's actually been deemed legal). As if it weren't bad enough that Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger get a chunk of your hard-earned money every time you buy a spindle of CDs through previously existing levies paid to SOCAN and distributed to Canadian artists, the government is slapping a hefty extra levy on recordable media, including MP3 players.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Recording Industry Association is getting ready to slap file sharers with lawsuits. Since leeching has been judged fair, they're targeting only uploaders, proving just in time for the holiday season that it isn't better to give than to receive after all.

My suggestion? Snatch up your new iPod before the price goes up by a cool 25 big ones. (Plus, the dollar's high right now, so it might not be a bad idea to do a little consumer spending.) And buy up a few spindles of CDs and go on a downloading frenzy of all the music you've ever wanted. It's not that it'll be illegal later; it's just that access to it might dry up with all the file-sharers getting run off the P2P networks. (It doesn't help that Kazaa Lite has been shut down either; former users are eventually going to have to deal with all the adware and spyware in the original version or just go elsewhere. One suspects this will hurt Kazaa more than they'd expected, since they may well lose the critical mass of users that made the whole enterprise worthwhile.)

Meanwhile, here's a song you can download, even though it tells you not to. Yeah, that's right -- somebody's mixed up a funky techno song based on Fensler Films' "I'm a computer!" G.I. Joe PSA.

And in related and even better news, I stumbled across a G.I. Joe PSA that I'd never seen before, and it's actually one of the better ones, if a little derivative of some of my other favorites. On the other hand, it offers some incisive commentary on the recent developments when it comes to file sharing, and I think Deep Six says it best: "What? You kids are fuckin' done!"

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