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Paying for the Music

February 1, 2013 – by Per Christensson

Many years ago, before Steve Jobs revolutionized music distribution with the iTunes Store, it was hard to buy downloadable songs online. It wasn't too hard, however, to download copyrighted songs for free.

In my college and pre-college days, I am sad to admit that I downloaded a large number of songs without ever paying for them. I browsed through various Hotline servers and file sharing services and downloaded hundreds of MP3s. It was so exciting to find and listen to songs I hadn't heard for years. I didn't even think about it being wrong.

Eventually, services like Napster and others made downloading music so easy that it became mainstream. Record companies started to lose millions of dollars a year because of illegal downloads. I realized that downloading music without paying for it was wrong. Even if I wouldn't have bought the music otherwise (which was my initial justification), I was still stealing music. I stopped downloading music illegally even before the iTunes Store came out and purchased CDs instead. Once the iTunes Store was created, I started buying all my music through iTunes and have been doing so ever since.

The problem is I never deleted most of the music I had downloaded illegally. I have bought a few CDs based on the music I downloaded, but I realized I still have a lot of songs in my playlist that I never paid for. Therefore, I have decided to purchase all of the songs I have downloaded, even the ones I hardly ever listen to.

It's exactly one month too late to make a New Year's resolution, but that doesn't mean it's too late to make a commitment for this year. Therefore, I have committed to purchase all the music I downloaded illegally by the end of 2013.

I will post a followup article once my playlist is paid in full.

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