The New York Times reported this week that Christian music is “disproportionately popular” in the online filesharing services. For example, last month almost 350,000 people downloaded songs by Relient K and over 2 million people are offering Switchfoot songs. This is Gospel Music Association week in Nashville and apparently “high on the agenda [of the industry] will be the findings of a new online marketing study commissioned by the Gospel Music Association that suggests that Christian teenagers are nearly as likely to download unauthorized files as their non-Christian peers.” Experts suggest that Christian music is so popular because “fans want to collect every song, and because they can’t always find them at the mall.” The perceived scarcity of Christian music seems to convince people they have license to steal it.
Isn’t it just like Christians to stab other Christians in the back? You can say all you want about the record companies making most of the money, leaving very little for the artists, but the fact remains that downloading music is every bit as illegal as stealing a CD from the shelves of Best Buy. If you wouldn’t walk out of the store with a CD you did not pay for, why would you download it? The answer is obvious – no one can see you! It seems like an invisible, victimless crime.
Michael Janke at CMCentral.com has written an excellent article about The Hard Truth About File Sharing. If you are unsure what to believe about this issue, I suggest reading his article.