Day 1 – Do you believe in god?/What religion are you?
Day 2 – Do you believe in an afterlife? What do you believe happens when you die?
Day 3 – Are you proud to be from whatever country you are from?
Day 4 – What is your view on gay marriage? Homosexuality in general?
Day 5 – Do you think sex before marriage is okay?
Day 6 – How do you feel that sex education should be handled in schools?
Day 7 – Do you want to get married and/or have kids?
Day 8 – Do you think any drugs should be legalized? Do you think there should be an age for drinking?
Day 9 – Pro-life or pro-choice?
Day 10 – Have any opinions about year-round schooling?
Day 11 – What do you think about prostitution? Should it be legal?
Day 12 – Do you think men today are too “wimpy” and need to “man up”? How do you feel about gender roles as a whole?
Day 13 – Do you think there should be an age to get tattoos/piercings without the consent of a parent?
Day 14 – Do you believe in aliens?
Day 15 – Do you believe in regrets? Do you have any terrible ones?
Day 16 – What do you want to happen to your body when you die?
Day 17 – How about that cloning stuff?
Day 18 – What is your take on people who self harm (cutting, burning, scratching etc etc.)
Day 19 – Do you think high schools should give out free contraceptives?
Day 20 – What do you think about plastic surgery?
Day 21 – What do you think about the death penalty?
Day 22 – Do you say your country’s national anthem/pledge of allegiance when it is said/listened to?
Day 23 – What do you think about thinspo?
Day 24 – Euthanasia – Your thoughts?
Day 25 – Do you think violent video games should be banned?
Day 26 – Which do you think should be taught in schools: Evolution or creationism?

Day 27 – “Illegal” downloading – Yay or nay?
Day 28 – Do you think zero tolerance policies are effective in achieving their objectives?
Day 29 – Do you feel as though women should be able to walk around topless like men? Why or why not?
Day 30 – Do you think the internet should be censored?

First off, I don’t believe that downloading music (or anything else for that matter) online is the same as theft. You steal a CD from the store, that store loses the physical disc. The store has lost money, because it paid for said physical disc. When you download music, it’s making another copy. No physical material is taken from another. No one loses money.

And yes, I do believe no one loses money. You can’t equate a download with a lost sale, because oftentimes the person wouldn’t have bought it in the first place. I’ll even use an example. There’s an “artist” (using the term loosely here…I kid, I kid, he’s probably not as bad as I have it in my head) called Gunther. He’s…well, I suppose the best way to explain Gunther is to let you experience him yourself…

Yeah. All of his songs are like that. Cheesy and corny and horribly funny. My friend downloaded a Gunther CD off the internet… because he wanted to laugh at it. He never would have actually bought it. And then I have another friend who downloads music because he can’t afford it. If he couldn’t download…he wouldn’t have bought the CD’s anyways, obviously, because he couldn’t afford them. So, despite what the RIAA tells you, a download does not always equal a lost sale.

In fact, there’s a study that said that downloading music helps with sales. People like to know what they’re listening to, before buying it, which makes sense. I wouldn’t want to buy a CD on the hopes that more songs than that one single that I hear everywhere are “worth it”. So they download it, and, if it’s good, they’ll buy the CD. Or, they might not buy the CD, or they’ll go to shows for bands they might never have heard about otherwise and buy their merchandise. It’s like the radio….free advertising.

Some people just don’t see it as a big deal. Artists get very very little from their record sales. A few pennies, maybe? Most of the rest goes to the record labels. They figure that since most of the money goes to the record label, which they could care less about, they might as well download the music and buy some merchandise or make a donation instead…do something that would benefit the artist (they tend to get more money from merchandise sales or concert tickets…) instead of supporting the music company.

Also, random note: How is downloading music that much different than using youtube? You still hear the songs as many times as you want for free….only difference is that you need to be connected to the internet to use youtube…and due to the “heat” on the “normal” downloading music methods, people have made sites and programs that will take the audio from a youtube video and make it a mp3, so that it’s harder for the RIAA to find the downloaders. People will download music regardless of what the laws are. You close down one venue, others pop up to fill the void. It’s the hydra, each chopped off head grows more, except that so far there’s so way to burn the stump to cause others to not pop up.

Another argument that people bring against the RIAA is that they can’t provide them the same options as the “underground” can. Go to a private torrent site. Almost any one will do. Search something. As long as it isn’t obscure you should be able to find it in a variety of file formats and bitrates, ranging all the way up to lossless, and even sometimes if it’s obscure. And unlike most songs downloaded through “legal” means, there are no restrictions about how many of your computers you have them on, or what device you can load it on. So more variety of file formats, in varying qualities, with no restrictions. It’s not hard to see why people might prefer the underground route compared with the “legal” means, where you often have no say in the file format you get the music in, what quality, or what restrictions are placed on it in a misguided attempt to stop the files spreading (as I said before, people are crafty. From a quick google search, there are many ways to avoid these restrictions, Apple, for instance, if you burn the files to a CD and then rip them again, the DRM will be removed. Steve Jobs even stated this in an interview…)

There are some people who download for moralistic reasons. The RIAA is severely pissing people off. Treating potential customers like criminals is not a very good business tactic. Plus, there’s the whole matter of the way the RIAA “catches” people downloading is severely flawed. It’s been proven that if you want to, without too much work, you can get “takedown notices” (things the RIAA sends to your ISP that they then pass on to you, saying “Hey, we caught you, knock it off. And oh, by the way, even if you knock it off, we might still decide to sue you….” Or something similar. I worked at my college’s helpdesk for a while, that handled stuff like this, so I got the gist, even though I wasn’t allowed to look at any of them due to confidentiality stuff) to a networked printer, that’s obviously not sharing music. The RIAA even says that ripping a CD YOU YOURSELF BOUGHT to your own personal computer, and not sharing it or anything, is actually ILLEGAL AND COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!!! Why? Unauthorized copy. They say they won’t go after you for it…but it’s the fact that they presume benevolence over something as silly as that that gets a lot of people’s goats. So they want you to also download a digital version of the music you already own if you want to load songs onto a MP3 player, or to make a mix cd for yourself… so they’ve declared that they will no longer buy music from artists supported by the RIAA. Indie artists, they’ll buy, but if the artist is on a record label that’s part of the RIAA, they refuse to buy it, and will only download it.

So…tl;dr? If people want to “illegally” download…so be it. The RIAA seems to be an obsolete company trying to hold back the market because they can’t keep up and are losing money due to their inability to adapt.

Sorry for going all over the place with this. I have lots of ideas about this, and it’s hard to incorporate all of them into a coherent post while slaving over finals, freaking out over grades and papers, and finding an apartment (and a roomie, maybe…it’s complicated…) I had links that I was going to include, but I’m too busy at the moment, but if you want any of the links I used for my info let me know.