A federal indictment in Nashville, Tenn., accuses [this guy] of posting four songs by alt-country artist Ryan Adams last summer, a month before their official release. If convicted of three charges, he could face up to 11 years in prison under a year-old law aimed at protecting copyrighted music and movies.The threat of prosecution is not what makes music piracy wrong. Piracy is wrong because using someone else's intellectual property without permission, and in a way that (at least potentially) costs them money, is theft.
[This guy and another guy] were indicted Wednesday in Tennessee on a charge of conspiracy and two counts of copyright infringement. The two were part of a chain of people to copy songs illegally from an advance copy of Adams' CD "Jacksonville City Nights," the FBI alleges. [. . .] The songs were posted on the Web in August 2005, about a month before the album's scheduled release, according to the indictment.
Yeah, yeah, I know that Ryan Adams didn't go broke because of this one guy. And the more people who do it, the greater the eventual cost to the artists.
I've known too many songwriters in my day whose ability to eat or drive to the next gig depends on legitimate sales of their music to excuse theft from people who might be able to afford it. So, don't. Peace out.