For those who claim that these types of discussions go over their heads, STOP READING NOW! You are part of the problem and not likely to be of much help in finding the cure.
The music industry is trying to hide behind the law in telling you what you can do with a product after you have used your hard earned money to purchase it. The music industry has always maintained that, if you buy a record, tape, cd, etc, you have purchased ONLY the right to your own personal use of the recording. if you own a restaurant and take the cd into the dining room to play it, you must pay royalties to BMI, ASCAP SESSAC or whichever union that the author and artist belong to.
TECHIJCALLY, IF YOU TAKE THE CD TO A PARTY AND PLAY IT, YOU MUST PAY THE UNION, BASED ON HOW MANY PEOPLE ATTEND THE PARTY. OR, EVERYONE AT THE PARTY MUST HAVE PURCHASED THEIR OWN COPY IN ORDER TO HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO LISTEN! NO SHARING ALLOWED!
These rules have been effect forever. NOW along comes the internet with filesharing sites galore. Internet filesharing is no different than making a copy of a recording for your friends to use at a party EXCEPT the large numbers of people involved. The internet is beginning to have a small (very small) impact on the record companies revenue.
The music industry continues to collect fees for every song played in public, such as in the local supermarket, Wallmart and millions of steres and restaurants worldwide. Fees are also paid by every radio and tv station in the world. Fees are also paid by every performer who sing or plays more than a couple of bars of a song, wheather it be on stage, in a commercial or at a wedding.
IN OTHER WORDS, send Mikie Jackson, Madonna, Cher and the rest of that crowd a quarter. They are all starving and homeless thanks to web sites such as KAZAA.
OUR ONLY SALVATION IS A COMPLETE AND TOTAL BOYCOTT OF THE RECORDED MEDIA INDUSTRY. Including cds, tapes and dvds. If you don't take part, you're part of the problem.