According to the AP, the recording industry won its case against Michelle Santangelo, which orders the 20-year-old woman to pay $750 for each of the 41 songs she supposedly downloaded illegally. Basically, this young lady most likely will be taking $30,000 out of her purse for about four records worth of songs.
Now, if you are frequent reader of mine, you know that I'm totally against the RIAA targeting individuals for downloading suits. This really just makes people hate the industry more than they already do. I still think the RIAA should be spending these legal funds on technology that makes it more difficult for folks to get a hold of illegal music, or makes it easier to track the source of the music leak.
With that said, if you followed the Santangelo case at all, you know this girl got what she deserved, thanks to her mom. You see, the RIAA originally targeted her mother, but then Patricia Santangelo took that very personally and went on a crusade to bash the industry and say that it's basically OK for her kids to do whatever they want. It's the Internet's fault, she proclaimed to anyone who would listen.
I'm sick of people taking this stance, just plain sick of it. At the beginning of these suits, almost a decade ago now, people could claim that they didn't know what they were doing was illegal. This is not the case now. That 20-year-old woman knew she was illegally stealing music. And if she didn't, she's a moron. An idiot who should be sued for more cash just for being dumb.
It's this simple: Steal music all you want, but know that the RIAA could strike at any moment. And when they offer you a reasonable settlement, like they did with Santangelo, don't jump on your high horse and claim what you did was OK. You wouldn't want me breaking into your house and stealing your stuff, would you? You wouldn't want to work a 40-hour week and then not get paid fully? This is the essence of illegal downloading.
I'm done now. The Internet is a great tool for spreading music, and many artists put songs up to download freely. If they don't, that means they want you buying it. You have no right to steal it.
Open your wallet or don't listen.
And just think, if you break the law, you may end up having to pay $30,000 for "MMMBop" and "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)," just like Michelle. She should be fined just for downloading those two tunes.