Is it ok to download music for free?

Image: Is it ok to download music for free?

Do I really have to pay for music online?

Of course, getting music for nothing is tempting, but I really think Christians should think twice before downloading music from illegal sites.

(PS I’m not talking about iTunes or myspace, or sites where the musicians choose to give away their music because they’re nice or they already have enough money. I’m talking about the naughty sites that give you music that is meant to cost money for free.)

Here’s my thoughts:

1. Downloading music illegally hurts musicians.

True, I am totally biased. I’m a musician, and I produce CDs. But if you were a musician too, then you’d want people to respect your music and not steal it. And Jesus said, “Do to others as you’d have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).

The reason us musicians get so thingie about it is that making music costs us a LOT of money. To give you an idea, a Garage Hymnal (my band) CD will cost $35,000 just in studio bills. One of my friends spent over $100 000 on his album! That’s a lot of money… but we know that people will be happy to pay $20 each to hear the music so all I have to do is sell a couple of thousand copies and I’ll be fine.

But what if everyone just downloaded it for free? I will probably never be able to make music ever again!

Everyone thinks of rock stars as rolling in cash. But 85% of the bands signed to major labels lose money. And half the record companies in the world are going out of business, which means less good music will be made.

If you like listening to music, then respect the people who make it and don’t rip them off.

2. Christians should obey the law.

Romans 13:1 says to obey the law. It is against the law to make copies of somebody’s music without the musician’s permission.

So that’s why I think Christians shouldn’t download music from naughty sites. If you can argue your way around this, or have a different opinion, please leave a comment below. I’m interested in hearing your opinions!

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Comments (1)

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  • user

    Steve

    Great start to the conversation Andy, and I agree wholly…

    Something that I’ve had an ongoing debate with friends is in downloading music that you already own -

    i.e. I have multiple copies of albums in vinyl format, however I want the freedom to listen to that music on the run (in the car, on my ipod etc.)...
    What do you think is the issue in downloading a digital copy (for free) for those albums that I already own (and have paid $30-$45 a pop for).