My favorite file sharing program, Win MX, recently shut down operations.

We keep hearing about how copying CDs and movies is taking money away from the artists and those who make the films and compact discs. Yet, where was the outcry when the VCR came out and people could record television shows and movies on video tapes and pass them among their friends and family? Where was the outcry when blank audio tapes came out and the record button was put on cassette players so that listeners could make mix tapes of their favorite songs or copy their tapes for their friends? Was the industry losing money back then? I'm sure that it was, but there was no movement to stop people from copying.

Why now is there such a huge demand from the recording and filmmaking industries to stop people from making copies of their products? I'm of the opinion that it is due to the fact that the products have become inferior. What was the last original idea to come out of Hollywood? Who was the last great musical group to hit it big with a unique original sound? We're getting cookie cutter pop stars and remakes of classic films galore these days. Why pay money for a CD when you've already bought one that sounds just like it, or to go to a movie that you saw 20 years ago?

When I was downloading music, it was mainly to get rare live recordings not available on disc, or to check out new acts, and on several occasions, I actually went out and bought the CDs of artists that I enjoyed. But I'm not going to go pay for an entire CD because of the one song I heard on the radio. And I'm not going to go see the latest remake of The Fog when I can just rent the original and watch it in the comfort of my own house.

I don't really feel that bad about it, because the people who make the most money off of the sales of the CDs and movie tickets are the people who make the decisions to release the crap that is coming out today. The artists make most of their money in touring and endorsements. Almost everyone in the entertainment industry makes more money than I do.

When I can see originality and fresh sounds, I'll gladly pay my money for it, but I need to know what I'm buying before I empty my wallet.