October 8th, 2007
04:52 PM ET

File-Sharing: What Do You Think?

Record companies have filed tens of thousands of lawsuits, and yet illegal file-sharing is still on the rise.  Some people don't even think about it – illegal downloads are the main way they get their music.

What are your thoughts on all of this?  Do you agree with the judgment against Jammie Thomas, who was found guilty of sharing copyrighted music online?  What do you think should be the penalty for illegal file-sharing?  And what, if anything, do you think could be done to stop it?  Shout out your opinion right here.

Filed under: Feedback
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Timothy

    Buying music in a store such as Best Buy or Wal-mart is overpriced and outdated. Personally, the majority of my music library comes from i-tunes, which is quick, easy, and often offers bonus tracks not found on the physical album. I think file sharing is wrong, but I also think the actions being taken against offenders are way to harsh. Its one thing to make a point, its another to make somebody pay $222,000 dollars to a major label that doesn't need it. A good illustration of this was made on the South Park episode when musicians first started attacking Napster. For anyone that hasn't seen it...Kyle Kenny, and Stan illegally download three songs off the internet. Immediately the FBI swarms in on the house and takes the boys away. The next scene you see the bassist for Metallica sitting beside his pool at his mansion crying. The FBI agent explains that Lars wanted a gold plated shark tank, but because you downloaded his music illegally, he's going to have to wait THREE MONTHS to get it. The bottom line is, whether you download music illegally or not, if you like it enough your going to buy it to support the artist. On top of that, a lot of artists today are happy just knowing that people are listening to their music, whether they bought it or not. Major labels are beginning to be a thing of the past, and if they don't start playing nice, they're going to go away completely.

    October 9, 2007 at 1:37 am |
  2. sheila

    i think its stupid to sue for that much money. if it werent for us the fans these guys would be still singing in bars and fairs trying to make ends meet. i mean what does it hurt them? some people make enough money to live off of so its just makes since to see if you like the music before you buy the cd. give us a break will ya...

    October 9, 2007 at 2:42 am |
  3. Rachelle

    I totally disagree with the judgment against Jammie Thomas.

    For years record companies have been involved in the unfair practice of stealing copyrighted music.

    In hopes of getting one of their songs published, hundreds of thousands of song writers send them their songs everyday. To avoid paying song writers, record companies alter the songs before they use them.

    If a song writer is smart enough to recognize the altered version of their song, they have to sue the record company for copyright infringement and it is virtually impossible for a song writer to win.

    If that song writer can actually afford the law suit, which costs around fifty thousand dollars or more, they still have to find a lawyer that specializes in copyright infringement litigation. Virtually all of these specialized lawyers work for or feed off the record companies.

    I have no money for my stolen songs but at least I can laugh at the satisfaction I feel knowing that, for once, record companies are getting a taste of their own medicine. I hope they now know how it feels to have your music stolen and not be able to do anything about it? Their lawyers don’t know what to do so they now have to run to the RIAA. The RIAA can't help them either. It's divine justice.

    I hope and pray that free file-sharing never stops! I hope and pray that all the record companies go bankrupt and artists produce and sell their own music.

    October 9, 2007 at 6:08 am |
  4. Mr. Browder

    1A Freshmen Success Class:

    Most of my students (70%) download music files. The majority of these students believe that there is nothing wrong with doing this. There are a few that do it even though they know they should not.

    Anthony: It's not right, but it's not wrong.
    John: It should be illegal, but 220,000 dollars is too much.
    Ty: Should not be illegal because artists already make plenty of money. Most CDs only have one good song.
    Jared: Legalize it for a penny a song.
    Paul: Should be illegal because you are stealing from the artists and the government should find a better way to look for downloaders.

    October 9, 2007 at 9:14 am |
  5. CHS -Jamiah

    What I think about it is that people shouldnt steal copyrighted music because they are going to sue for a whole lot of money. 9 times out of 10 your going to loose about a few million dollars. If you want music that bad you should get on i-tunes and get your music before you loose everyt thing you have because the artist work hard for their money.

    October 9, 2007 at 11:24 am |
  6. Mrs. Francese's Class

    8th Grade Social Studies Section A (for awesome)

    75% of this class downloads music online!

    The class reports:
    We believe that Jammie is not the only one to fileshare music, and we wondered why the music industry isn't going after bigger organizations like Limewire. The penalty for illegally downloading music should be a large fine, but mainly for those that are downloading LARGE amounts of music. To solve the problem, all of the songs that are available online should come with a fee, and no free music should be available (except for previews). To sum it all up, Jammie should not be the only one in trouble here. Other people should be in trouble too, OR the music industry should just focus on the main contributors to the problem (ie. Limewire).

    October 9, 2007 at 2:44 pm |
  7. Jenny

    File-sharing is surely an illegal commitment, but more than 1/2 of the population out there is doing it. The music industry is making enough money already. It's just not fair to punish one person on the loss of the industry, while millions are out there roaming free! $220,000 is not a small amount of money. Also, with today's technology – proxy stealer, IP stealer, etc... it could be possible to get one's IP address right, but with the wrong name of the user! I think punishing one person because he/she has the same IP as the one who shares the files is not quite fair. This process might work a few years back then, but NOT anymore!

    October 9, 2007 at 7:36 pm |
  8. Emily

    I think that this is rediculous. 1. It was only like, 24 songs. 2. Musicians make large amounts of money, and if they are sueing because they are being "jipped" out of there money well, tough luck, you make millions of dollars a year, to you, this is like a weekly allowence. 3. itunes and limewire are amazing programs and so many people use them (especially limewire since itunes isn't free) that its not like they can catch every single person.

    I have never used Kazza or limewire but all i know is its the same stuff but its free.

    October 9, 2007 at 9:48 pm |
  9. Jordan

    File sharing is so common these days, I don't think that it is right to punish the individuals that use sites like Kazaa and Morpheus. There are just too many people using them, that you can't punish all of them. It would be unfair to the people sharing music. I do think that these file sharing websites should be shut down and fined. They are performing illegal acts by stealing from the music industry. And for people who do use file sharing, buying songs off legal sites isn't that expensive.

    October 9, 2007 at 10:51 pm |
  10. orrin

    I agree that she should be punished, but they should know for certain that it was her before hand. There are people all over that use illegal file-sharing.However, most don't get caught for doing it. If she wouldn't have tried to fight it then she wouldn't have got fined as much money. I think it is too much money for a fine because most people aren't going to be able to pay that.

    October 9, 2007 at 11:38 pm |
  11. Dustin

    The issue of file sharing brings up a lot of controversial issues for sure. For one, it didn't seem there was enough concrete evidence to charge Jammie Thomas, just because it was traced to her ip and had a common user name doesn't mean it was her for sure. Despite this I do believe that if sufficient evidence is provided she should be charged, to an extent. That being said I believe that the final charge of $220,000 was quite steep, most Americans don't even make that much money in a year. If something is to be done about the file sharing that takes place it should be done by the people creating the programs. Stopping the numerous people would take time, and money, while attacking it at the source would be much more effective.

    October 9, 2007 at 11:57 pm |
  12. Tony

    I know that file sharing is illegal but even me from Korea also do it. It is worldwide. Everybody just do it because they think it is comfortable. And THREE MONTHS to get what you want is certainly a long time.

    October 10, 2007 at 12:05 am |
  13. Kooody

    I think it should be illegal because you are stealing from the artists. I think they are making people pay way to much for illegally downloading music. The artists already make enough money. Many cd's that come out only have 1 or 2 good songs on it. I wouldnt like to buy a cd to just listen to 1 or 2 songs on it.

    October 10, 2007 at 10:15 am |
  14. Mr. Browder

    My 6B Class:

    72% of the students download music.

    Chris: Places like iTunes should let you download for cheaper rates per song/CD.
    Katie: I usually use iTunes, but they don't always have what I want, so I then go elsewhere.
    Harrison: Artists are not making money, and they should because they have to earn a living.
    Adam: They should make the file sharing programs illegal.
    Chelsey: You can lose all your stuff if the computer crashes. It's half wrong, 1/2 right.
    CJ: Sometimes it's more expensive to pay for downloads rather than just buy the CD.

    October 10, 2007 at 11:23 am |
  15. Anonymous

    I don't think it is fair that Jammie Thomas is being punished for file-sharing. There are millions of other people out there that are doing the same thing she is and nothing is happening to them. If they are going to punish one person then maybe they should be punishing all the other people too. I download my music off of iTunes which I don't think is bad because I have to pay for all the songs I get. Downloading off of LimeWire or Bearshare is different because you don't have to pay for it. I think the artist shoud at least get some kind of money when people download their work.

    October 11, 2007 at 11:16 pm |
  16. Ryan

    I think that since file-sharing is so widely used that it can't be made illeagle. Most people that i know have used a file sharing software at one point or another. If they were to inforce a ruling that said file sharing was illeagle, they would have to construct a very large team of investigators to find all the violators. This would cost the government tons of money, at a time when we are at an econimic crisis.

    October 12, 2007 at 11:38 am |
  17. Kenny

    I think that it should be illegal for people to download music who make copies and SELL THEM TO MAKE A PROFIT!!!!!!!! Anyone downloading videos or music to sell and profit from it, should go to jail or fined.

    Any one donwloading data for PERSONAL USE ONLY should NOT BE FINED!

    October 17, 2007 at 7:39 am |
  18. HCHS Keith

    I think that it is wrong to make a profit just like Kenny wrote. However I think that sharing files is just like a friend giving me a cd. I think that as long as you don’t have any $$ involved in it. It should be legal. That’s just my opinion!

    October 18, 2007 at 11:33 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Even though its wrong and ilegal, I feel that she should have not been as heavily fined. I agree with Kenny, its like the same thing if a friend sends you a song or if you go to a friend's house and synch your ipod with their music library from itunes. I feel if it is circulated amongst friends, and does not involve money. It should be legal. However if people are trying to make a profit, they should be punished.

    October 29, 2007 at 9:53 am |
  20. Garrett

    I think that you guys are cool. I am from Riceville Iowa. I think the wildfires in California is pretty sad. Well, see you tomorrow on the CNN studentnews.

    October 29, 2007 at 6:51 pm |
  21. tyler

    the fire in california is sad for all the people that lost a home

    October 30, 2007 at 8:25 pm |