Illegal Downloading (or how disco is never a good idea)

Disco...lounge? Sheesh

Disco…lounge? Sheesh

We all have that friend – you know, the one who does crazy things like flashing people on Main Street, and illegal but somewhat-condoned things like smoking pot and downloading pirated software. And we love sharing that friend’s awesome stories because it makes us feel as if we know exactly how that friend feels.  I too have a crazy friend who does lots of small (but still illegal) things, and to protect his name, I’ll give him an alias – say Robert Ford – because that name sounds like the name of someone who would do illegal things and then cover it up.

Anyway, Robert recently sent me a note because I told him about my blogging adventure. He wrote:

I have a dirty little confession to make: most of the time when I bring a CD home from the library, I pop it into my CD drive and by the miracle of technology it becomes one with iTunes. It’s illegal, I know. And if this is my last note to you before I’m dragged off to jail, then it was nice knowing you. But I call bullsh*t on everyone else, because there is no way I’m the only one (just the only one stupid enough to admit it…eventually).

I thought about his point and I believe that most people are guilty of downloading illegal content, if not on a daily or weekly basis, at least on a monthly or yearly one. But when it comes to borrowing CDs from the library and downloading the music, I have come up with a few ways to make Rob feel better:

1. Ridiculously obvious justification – The library must know that most people copy the songs from CDs onto their computers. If they didn’t want people to download them they wouldn’t lend them. Bonus marks if you can name the logical fallacy on this one.

2. Time-lapse justification  –  By the time you hear a new song on the radio, place a hold on the CD when it’s finally a full CD and not just a single, wait for the 300 people ahead of you to listen to it, scratch it up, and return it, finally pick it up and listen to it, are so sick of the songs on it that you will never listen to them again, sometimes a year has passed and that makes it better. Right?

3. Everybody does it justification – everybody does do it.

And finally,

4. KARMIC justification – the universe will even it all out.

For those of you still with me, you will appreciate the karmic element of the next little story. I have been trying to become a well-rounded audiophile and have been working my through listening to the genres of music and their respective decades (if it applies). I have a ton of old R&B now, mostly donated CDs from my next door neighbour.  And after borrowing old CDs my dad bought back in the day when Columbia House sold CDs (wow – brief flashback there) and covering 50s rock and 60s psychedelia, I thought it was time to boogie on into the Disco era. So, I ventured onto the library website and found a CD that had classics like “I Feel Love”, “Le Freak”, “I Will Survive” on it. I ordered the CD from the library, and it finally came in this week.

So, taking a page from Rob’s book, I put the CD on my computer and imported it into iTunes (after I got over the fact that I was doing something illegal, of course) without even listening to it. Today being Sunday, I decided that I needed to get cracking on my entry this week and decided to give the CD a listen – I was very excited about it!

You can imagine my horror when I played the CD, and the first song (“Ladies’ Night”) started with the cheesiest keyboard backing I’ve ever heard. I grabbed the case in confusion and scanned it. Yes, my friends, that 1970’s disco CD compilation from the library – was in fact “70s Disco Lounge: Favorite Disco Classics Gone LOUNGE!”

My foray into illegal downloaded was thwarted by my terrible reading skills. I’ve removed the offensive songs and it will never happen again. Karma is indeed a bitch.  And as for my Book Jacket Letter this week? Here it is:



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