the gift of guilt

I have a hypothetical question for you. Let’ say a friend gives you a gift. Its something you really like and want to use but….you know for a fact that it is stolen property. Now, YOU didn’t steal it, but….what do you do? The person that gave it to you is not a bad person and they don’t even really realize they stole it but….it is stolen.

This actually happened to me this Christmas. I received a beautiful gift of Christmas songs on a CD from a person at church. It is beautiful music! At first, I thought the singers were people in my ward. I listened the first time in awe of the amazing talents in our ward. The second time, I tried to imagine who was singing. They were really good…in fact, they were TOO good. One singer sounded a whole lot like a famous singer that will remain nameless here. On a whim, I took out my new phone and pointed the Shazam button at the speaker of my cd player. Lo and behold….it was the nameless singer. I was a bit shocked and very disappointed. I was also a bit impressed that I could name the singer, but that is besides the point.  As some of you may or may not know but all will now know…I am a strick believer in the copyright laws. It really irritates me that people break this law all the time and either have no fricken clue they are doing it or they are just so sure they won’t get in trouble that they do it anyway.

Just to clarify to the general public of two people that may or may not read my blog, copying music is NOT LEGAL. You cannot take a song and burn it on a disc and distribute it to all your friends. Let’s just think about this for a minute. The disks that this gal made have several different artists on it, but let’s just pretend it was all the same artist from the same album. Albums sell for around $10 on average. This woman made more than 50 copies of the said disk. That is $500 she just stole. Did you know that for each song you download or copy illegally you can be fined $2500? There are a about 13 songs on this cd. Do the math…..13 x $2500…..that’s $32,500 for one Christmas album. And she made more than 50. That’s more than $1,625,000 she could be fined. I don’t know about you, but that is a bit more than I am willing to spend on Christmas gifts this year.

So the question remains. What do I do with this cd? I know it is an illegal copy of some really great Christmas music. Do I dump it in the trash? Do I drive to the person’s house that made it and shove it up their nose? No, that would be mean. I’m sure she is clueless….and I hope she doesn’t get sued for it. So, here is what I am going to do. I am going to look up every song on the disk with my Shazam (which I love by the way) and I am going to buy all the songs I don’t already own on itunes so I can keep listening to the disk. See, THEN it will be a legal copy. But, don’t go asking me to make YOU a copy, cuz I just might shove something up YOUR nose. Figure out the copyright laws people! The easiest way is to imagine YOU are the artist and you need the money from every sale of every song to put food in your starving children’s mouths. I don’t think you’d want people giving way $500 from your grocery budget…..cuz I said so.

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