The LimeWire Party is Over – But We’re Still Not Going to Pay for Music
In an age where illegal and free downloading is the norm, paying for music is no longer an option for people of my generation, writes Natasha Green, aged 16.
By Natasha Green
Published: 3:33PM BST 29 Oct 2010
LimeWire has been shut down by a US court who found that the service had been used to infringe copyright on a huge scale
Teenagers across the globe are in mourning. The LimeWire free download party has ended. A New York judge issued a permanent injunction against the service, forcing its peer-to-peer filesharing operation to shut down.
When my friends and I are in possession of pocket money, we are not battling it out to squeeze through the doors of HMV. In an age where illegal and free downloading is the norm, paying for music is no longer an option.
I’ve always thought that my generation – I’m 16 – will never need to purchase music again. Unless we are seriously lacking ideas for a gift, the prospect of buying a CD seems ludicrous. With the development and increasing awareness of illegal, yet accessible, programmes like LimeWire, paying for music is tantamount to paying for water.
The vast majority of teenagers are in the category of people whose iTunes library is filled with music they have not paid for. I can think of very few people under the age of 21 who pay for music – those who do are music buffs who are buying it out of loyalty and passion for favoured artists. I am certain that, if they were simply listening to music for pleasure and not devotion, they would definitely jump on the free downloading bandwagon.
Teenagers are, on the whole, well-informed on how to make their lives financially easier. We are often short of cash and free downloading helps us save for the future. Although this may be scraping the barrel to justify illegal downloads, it is nevertheless still an efficient way to save money.
The decline in CD sales is no reflection on the brilliance of much of the music industry. I never hesitate to take up the opportunity of seeing artists I love perform live. Nothing quite compares to spending your money on screaming the lyrics of your favourite song while being pushed around by hundreds of sweaty strangers. Yet, when it comes to listening to my favourite artists, it is unlikely I will bother spending my money on music, when I can download music for free. What’s the point?
The music industry has stated that downloading is destroying the industry and that every illegal download is a lost sale. This is a weak argument – the majority of people who illegally download would not pay for music in the first place. They are simply experimenting with new music genres that they would not normally buy. The illegal download market has encouraged people to broaden their musical tastes.
If illegal downloading was no longer possible, young people would not resort to paying for music. They would use alternatives such as the radio and watching music television. People will always manage to work their way around spending money futilely. In this day and age, the “recession generation” are trained to be frugal.