Updated 22 September 2003, 09.37
Some people who download music illegally from the internet are being sued in the States.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which is made up of America's record companies, has picked 261 home users who regularly download music.
Is it about time, are the downloaders just getting what they deserve?
Or do you think the RIAA is being unfair?
I used to download music all the time, but now people are getting sued in america i'm not brave enough to do it any more. I think it's really stupid to sue a kid for downloading music. I didn't even know it was illegal!
Jenny, 13, Kent
I'll buy albums, downloading a whole album isn't fair. I'll download singles though, I don't think singles are worth £4 because most of the time you get three songs when you only want the one the band is releasing so you get two songs for no reason!
Laura, 15, Bournemouth
The whole downloading thing goes two ways. It's good in the way that if you only like one song by an artist, you can get it without buying all the songs you don't like. It's bad in the way that you're taking money away from your favourite artists. Artists are trying to stop the downloading, not just by suing, but by adding extras. Bands like Sum 41 and Metallica enclosed DVDs in their latest releases in hopes that fans would want to buy it.
Delaney, 14, Canada
I think it doesn't matter if you download music from the net because the singles cost too much in the shops, if the prices where lowered to around £8-10 the CDs may not be downloaded as much. But nothing will stop people from downloading music files illegally; I think people downloading music are not wrong to download music at all.
Lee, 15, Newcastle
The record companies should stop and think about their actions. They say that people are committing fraud towards them but what about their selves? They're doing it too by taking a fortune off helpless kids just for three songs.
Emma, 10, Glasgow
I think there should be one web site (NOT JUST RUN BY AMERICA!!!)where you pay one fee a year meaning you can download any music or video for the one fee.
Richard, 14, Hyde
To be really honest, what is the point if you buy a 12 pound cd if you don't know if you'll like it? Downloading is a way of "sampling" the album before you go and spend your money. And how much does it cost to make a CD? About a quid. So why should we have to pay 12.99 so record labels can make thousands?
Elliot, 13, Evesham
If you hear one song by one artist that you like, you wouldn't want to have to spend £15 on a whole album just to listen to that one song! I think it's wrong if you download whole albums because then it's clear that you ARE prepared to pay for the music-therefore you should. The radio pumps out pop song after annoying pop song 24/7. Downloading tracks is the only way some people can actually listen to anything else rather than pop music! If the radio stations played a wider range of music, like punk, instrumentals, gothic, etc; then maybe people wouldn't have to download any more.
Fern, 15, Chichester
I think that maybe we should be able to hear extracts of songs on the internet, but not be able to download them - that way the artists lose no money and we can get a preview of the songs before we buy them. But I agree with Kate, CDs should be cheaper and this wouldn't happen as much.
Anna, 14, Edinburgh
I think that it's wrong to download songs because if you like the artist surely then you want to support them to get to number 1. However I think CDs could be a little cheaper.
Kate, 16, Bristol
I think the producers have every right to get money off of people who downloaded it illegally. They pay money, only to have some people get it for free. It's not fair on them.
Hazel, 12, Cambridge
Yeah, CD's are outrageously priced, but then again, if you're a fan of someone's music, shouldn't you pay for the music? Hundreds of people work to make CDs and when people can get it for free what's the point in them working?
Lizzy, 12, Sheffield
No it is not wrong! If they put the CDs prices down then people will buy them!
Caitlin,12, Hemel Hempstead
I feel that downloading is cool; artists are just trying to be rich rich rich and don't think about the fans who don't have $20 to spent on a cd !!!!
Chelsea, 15, Phoenix
I don't download music. I hate paying the outrageous prices for CDs. But if we steal too much, then the prices have got to go up. What a vicious circle! It is not fair. In the last three years I've only bought three CDs. I'm content with the radio. I would feel very upset if I were a musician, and had worked very hard to get my album out there, and then have people not even buy it, but get it through dishonest means.
Darla, 15, Bristol
I use to download music (I have about 20 songs.) I think that they should lower the prices of CDs because it's just ridiculous!!! I can get ANY song I want, without wasting my money on one CD because I only want one song from that artist. If they want to do something about this, then they need to take it to Kazaa, or Winmix, and anything of the sort, and not to us! Not to 12 year olds, and not to parents!
amanda, 16, USA
The record companies are pricing themselves out there own market. I download tracks because it's fast and easy. Children have no way of paying for downloads on the internet like the pay to download sites. It's a good idea but nobody is going to pay 66p when they can pay £0.
Dave, 16, London
I don't think it's wrong. What's the point in having downloading music websites when now they are saying it's wrong?! I think a lot of people download the music cheaper because it saves them buying a single or album!!!
Caroleann, 12, Bristol
We can make legal copies of CDs in Canada. This is because every blank CD, no matter what it is going to be used for, has to pay this Blank Tax. Guess we are the lucky ones!
The record companies charge too much for a CD and then give only a pittance to the artists, so it's big business trying to rip-off the kids and the artists.
Gail, 16, Toronto, Canada
If we pay £15 for a CD, how much of that is because we bought a physical item from a shop with staff, rent transportation, etc? If CDs were on the internet for just the cost of the royalties, then I would pay for it.
Victor, 14, Enfield
If CDs were a fair price then we wouldn't download. It's that simple. Record companies are ripping us off.
Nick, 15, Basingstoke
The cost involved in making CDs and DVDs is much lower then that of cassette tapes. CDs have no moving parts. Yet, cassette tapes and VHS sell for considerably less then their, cheaper to make, counterparts. This is just another example of greed of big business. I have a hard time justifying the purchase of a CD for $17.00, that cost less then $0.10 to produce, possibly $1 to market.
Matt, 16, Portland, USA
If all the music were free there would only be good music because the only people making it would be people who want to make it because they love music, not because they want money.
John, 13, New York, USA
I download music for two reasons. Partly, it's because of the expense of music in stores. However, my main reason for downloading music is convenience. You just type in the song you want and in five minutes, it's right there on your hard drive. What music companies really need to do is to use the internet and distribute reasonably priced songs on it.
Steve, 17, New York, USA
I am not going to waste my money on the overpaid pop stars and the greedy record companies. And I don't see how I am a fair-weather fan. I am a HUGE fan of many groups, but I am also a thrifty fan.
Toby, 12, Norwich
If they don't want us to download music they should stop selling the CD burners and plain CDs to copy the songs onto. Plus the prices are too high. Also on the internet you can get really good song remixes that ain't on the official CDs.
Rachel, 14, Lincoln
Even if downloading is stealing, you don't really think the money goes to the artist, do you?? 90 percent or more of the cost of a CD is paid to the greedy record companies! So they should stop pretending we're hurting the bands by downloading.
Danny, 14, Sheffield
Why do record companies pretend they're concerned about 'the artists' losing money? Everybody knows that the artists only get a tiny fraction of the profits. This is about big business protecting itself!
Tony, 15, Newcastle
You're not a true fan if you download. Real fans go out and buy the CDs, if you download you're just a fair-weather fan.
Hannah, 12, Milton Keynes
Downloading songs is breaking the law so it's wrong, but to me it's not a bad thing. I download music and if I like it I buy a CD from the band if I think it's worth the money. The internet has introduced me to many bands I love and I have bought CDs from all of them.
Jökull, 16, Reykjavik, Iceland
I buy albums of the bands I like, as it is unfair to them not to buy them, however I make my own compilation CDs. Also CDs are way too expensive nowadays.
Ria, 14, Staines
I rarely have much money so I'll download music from the net to see if I like it and if I do I'll think about buying the CD. I'll only ever go out and buy the CD straight away if it's by an artist/band I already know and love.
Flik, 15, Wakefield
No I don't think that it is wrong , kids are the people who normally buy the CDs so they should put the price down so kids can afford to buy the CD.
Zagam, 12, Manchester
I just saw the commercial for it about how it's stealing but they don't ever think about the fact that people wanna hear their music do they? Like Moby said he didn't care and he was glad that people liked his music. Plus it said the CDs that were bought the most are also the ones being downloaded the most. I do not think it's wrong.
Samantha, 13, Wisconsin, USA
Downloading isn't wrong. Whets wrong is how much the shops charge for one song or one album.
Sarah, 11, South Shields
I don't have a CD re-writer, but my best friend does it for me all the time. I now have over 20 copied CDs, and I didn't have to pay a penny! If CDs in shops were lower, maybe they'd get more business!
Nats, 12, Manchester
I download, and I strongly think there is nothing wrong with it, as there are so many people in the world who can't afford even one CD! A message out to all those people like Pete Waterman who think it's some kind of serious crime; more people are doing it than you think!!!!
Claudine, 13, Peterborough
I download music and if I really like the songs I'll go out and buy the album. I always buy my fave band's album but bands that I think r ok I download their music
Jason, 14, Launceston
Downloading is wrong because it will soon put record companies out of business, but everyone does it!
Sarah, 15, Grimsby
Somebody I know does download for me because have you seen the prices in shops. I went in the other day and it was £17.99 for a double CD. Absolutely ridiculous!
Melissa, 12, Stafford
Artists shouldn't mind if we download their songs off the internet, because then we are hearing their music and enjoying it and that's all that matters!
Abi, 12, Edinburgh
Downloading is only wrong to the people that get in to the music business just to make money!
Kathleen, 14, Derry
There is no way I'm buying a CD, I download everything from the net. Stuff is too expensive, most people download their stuff from the net or buy illegal copies, so do I, you don't expect me to spend 20 dollars on an album.
Eethar, 14, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Downloading means I get to listen to the stuff I want to listen to! I like American punk and it's impossible to get it here and if you do it costs £20 for one CD. Downloading means I get to listen to music and make my mind up on it first, then I order online. CDs today are too expensive, even chart ones can cost up to £15!
Fiona, 14, Birmingham
I like downloading music but the only thing is when you download music you are not helping the artist of the track get into the charts, if you buy the CD you do. Also you don't feel like your supporting the artist of the music by downloading it.
Luke, 14, Birmingham
I think it's fine to download them even if the songs were cheap to buy. My big brother is a mosher and he finds it hard to buy CDs in the town but all he has to do is go online and download them. You get many songs for free! Loads of people I know do it so what's the harm? I'm more into hardcore music and that is also too hard to get depending on what I was looking for.
Lyndsay, 14, Glasgow
I download songs from the internet because CDs are too expensive. I can't go to the shops everytime a song I like comes out. Downloading is faster, easier and cheaper. Our lives are too "hectic" to go to a CD shop every day and buy a CD with our money!!!
Anne, 14, Bristol
I download and copy CDs all the time, there's nothing wrong with it! If the companies don't want us downloading music then we shouldn't have access to them on the internet but if we do, then everyone is gonna copy them coz it's quick and cheap!
Myleene, 14, Nuneaton
I do download music off the internet. I think it isn't fair to the artist even though I do like to do it! It's way cheaper and I can put all of my favorite songs on one CD.
Jamie, 13, Kansas, USA
I don't think downloading songs is wrong, record companies putting CD prices up is wrong and expensive. CD singles today are £3.99 or more and albums are £10.99! How are we supposed to afford it?
Gabrielle, 14, Chesterfield
Not at all! I always download music because CDs are quite expensive. If the CD companies put a end to this then some people like me won't be able to listen to some songs which is really unfair.
Amber, 13, London
I think it probably is wrong but I can't find any songs with the right .wav or .mp3 to put on my own CDs!
Rach, 13, Birmingham
I don't see a problem with downloading music, there's nothing wrong with it, I download music but I buy CDs as well.
Christina, 13, Dublin
I download songs all the time. Now, instead of buying CDs that cost about £15, I just put songs I have downloaded on to blank CDs. It's better and cheaper.
Stephen, 12, Cumbernauld
Two months ago I spent about £20 for four singles. Singles cost about £3.99 and I'm now fed up of spending £20 a month just to get my favourite songs. I'll stop downloading when record companies bring the price of CDs down. Besides if they ban downloading then I'll just record them from the radio. CD's should be £2 at the most. Kids are their target and if they want us to buy the CDs then they should put them at the affordable price. From now on I'm only buying albums, but even they're expensive. I spent £9.99 on the Oasis album this weekend, that's three weeks pocket money to me.
Sarah, 14, Aldershot
I think we should because it's too expensive to buy CDs. Also they add new tracks to an album and they expect you to go and buy it again! My brother's mate gets music from the internet and then I copy those CDs.
Hannah, 12, Lancaster
I download, but that's only because I also buy CDs from shops. The CD companies put different tracks on the singles and the albums and sometimes even sell different versions of singles to try to get you to spend more. I think that's really unfair and that's why I sometimes download. Anybody who thinks that's wrong must never borrowed a VHS off anybody else, cos that's also illegal!!!
Becky, 14, Bristol
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