Imagine you walk into a music store. You walk over to your favorite section and start browsing the racks of CDs. You see Katy Perry’s new album and decide you want it but don’t want to pay the $14.99. So you slip it under your clothes and walk out the store.

In general people would say that’s wrong. It’s theft from the both Katy Perry and the store. But do people think that way when it comes to illegally downloading music?

Myrna Koehling, nursing, doesn’t think people view it as stealing.

“It has become a fad around the world and because it’s there, people don’t think they have to pay for it,” she said. “[People] think because it’s free, it isn’t stealing.”

Instead of illegally downloading music, there are options such as Spotify. According to the Spotify website, you can listen and make playlists for free. “Spotify pays out the majority…of ALL of our revenue (advertising and subscription fees) to rights holders: artists, labels, publishers, and performing rights societies,” says the Spotify website under the artist services tab.

According to the website under the tab ‘upgrade’, you can create a Spotify profile with a free, unlimited or premium account.

A free account gives you access to over a million songs but only on a computer or laptop and songs on your playlists are broken up by advertisements. An unlimited account removes the ads for $4.99 a month. For $9.99 a month you get a premium account which gives you access to your account on any mobile device along with the ability to download the songs.

Koehling gets her music through a music-sharing app called Music Mania but occasionally buys CDs. “I sometimes buy [CDs] at Target or Amoeba Music Inc. on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles,” she said.

Vintage vinyls are also something Koehling likes to buy. “[I have] The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, The Temptations, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack on vinyl’s.”

Gabriel Reyna, television production, gets his music from iTunes, YouTube videos, or Sound Cloud. “If I really like an album I’ll buy the physical CD,” said Reyna. “I’ll also get music from my friends if they [have] it.”

Illegally downloading songs may seem harmless, but there are consequences. According to, a man from Providence, RI was ordered to pay $675,000 to four record labels for illegally downloading and sharing 30 songs. But under federal law could have been forced to pay a maximum of $4.5 million.

With so many options to get music free without it being illegal, there is no excuse to steal it.

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