So you fancy your downloaded music? Well, guess what, you pirating son of a bitch: the Man’s gonna getcha. Believe me; I know firsthand. One moment, I was floating through the web, using Kazaa and Limewire to download my favorite Ace of Base songs, then BOOM! I’m doin’ time. Well, not really, but you’ll see.
Let’s backtrack a bit. I had just persuaded my mother to bring my desktop to the fraternity house. Let the guiltless hiding-of-the-porn-in-a-separate-folder, illegal downloading free-for-all commence! An album here, a movie there, it was cooler than penguin shit. My roommate wanted in. “Do you mind if I download this new song I love?”“Sure,” I said confidently, feeling like Jesus Himself, feeding the masses with fish and bread, well, username and login, in this case.
Then all the brothers in my ‘fraternity’ file started sharing off the same machine. Before I knew it, the popped-collar posse and I had gathered more than 200,000 downloaded pieces of media.
One day, the phone rang.
All I recall are the words “under investigation for illegally downloading and file sharing” coming through the receiver. It’s pretty much like getting that ‘I’m pregnant‘ call from your ex-girlfriend. (Not that I’d know anything about that.)
Next, a thick envelope was delivered to the house. Inside it was a list of my entire Kazaa media library, along with an official notice to appear in court. Maybe just a warning will serve, right? Nuh-uh. Not only did I land the maximum fine, but the judge also read off a few of the more interesting names of files I’d downloaded, in front of my parents. Hearing ‘red-headed slut, bondage, facial’ and ‘Horse f***ers,’ in a courtroom in front of my parents was God-awful.
Total fine: $10,000.
Total punches in head from father: 67.
Total pride left after all was said and done: 0.
No matter how much money is coughed up in fines or how many kids get made into examples, the downloading will continue … just not on my machine.