but glittering prizes
and endless compromises
shatter the illusion of integrity"
yes, I quoted a Rush lyric. It's from "The Spirit Of Radio", off of their 1980 album Permanent Waves.
The reason why I quoted it is to make a reference to the downfall of music distribution. Thanks to the ongoing efforts by the RIAA to apply pressure to media outlets, it seems highly unlikely that you will be able to access websites allowing users to download tracks shared by other users.
One example is esnips.com, a file sharing/storage site where users can upload music, videos, documents, pictures, etc. and share them with the online community.
The sharing of music, however, is being phased out, and I quote, "partly as a response to your requests, and partly because some signed artists have opened eSnips profiles and asked to prevent downloads of their work." Now users who upload music can choose whether or not the file can be shared. I've checked; pretty much every music file on there is unavailable for download.
The site claims that certain users and musical artists are protesting the fact that their music is being shared with those who would like to hear it. Ha. That's got to be a cover they're using.
I'll bet you that they, along with many other sites offering the same services, have been threatened by the RIAA or other artists' groups to outlaw music downloading, or face legal action.
And hey, even if that's not the case, it still promotes the agenda set forth by the RIAA: stop everyone from sharing music illegally and sue whoever they want in order to 'end' file sharing.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about an industry that has betrayed the consumers, the very people that have kept the falling significance of digital media afloat over the last couple of years...and now the RIAA sues all kinds of suspected lawbreakers, from pre-teens to middle-aged housewives to college students and...hell, why not...THE DECEASED.
The latter, of course, was a mistake by the RIAA; they tried to sue an 83-year old named Gertrude Walton in January, but it was revealed she died a month earlier. Dumbasses.
The RIAA is seemingly incapable of thinking before acting. They believe the answer to their problems is 'sue, sue, sue'. It's all about MONEY.
Honestly, I find it tougher and tougher to feed "the beast" as time goes by, because the beast is hungry for something the RIAA calls 'justice' but I call 'cruel and unusual punishment'. Besides, I buy most of my music from pawn shops, the Marketplace on amazon.com, etc., so I might not buy a new CD from a music store ever again...
so much for biting the hand that feeds. Somehow that hand is biting us now.
We can only grow the way the wind blows
On a bare and weathered shore
We can only bow to the here and now
In our elemental war
- Rush, "The Way The Wind Blows"