Getting away with downloading

File-sharing is a widespread phenomenon on college campuses everywhere, and the University is no exception.

Several college campuses have embraced this trend, making it cheaper and easier for students to download music.

In 2004, Wake Forest University provided students with free or reduced-cost downloading through RealNetwork’s Rhapsody service.

Students greedily build their music libraries – most often there’s no price tag attached.

Ipods allow students to easily store a 10,000-song music library. If students had to pay for all of this music, it would cost a small fortune.

There’s a sense of satisfaction in having such a large music library, but students aren’t always aware of the dangers involved in downloading high volumes of music for free.

File-sharing software leaves a computer increasingly vulnerable to viruses and security issues.

But, there’s a new anti-piracy group, Download Legal, that is empowering students and informing them of the dangers of file-sharing.

Students are often ignorant of the potential problems associated with file-sharing software.

Download Legal was formed by college students across the country, and the group’s goal is to help students make better decisions in regard to downloading music.

The free information the site distributes helps students to protect their computers – and why should students not want to become more informed about something they spend so much time doing?

Everyone has heard of a friend who’s had their hard drive stalled by a virus an hour before that semester-end project is due.

Every downloader at BGSU should inform themselves to prevent such a disaster.

Sure, we all think it will never happen to us – but that really isn’t the case.

Download Legal doesn’t only warn students about viruses – the group also addresses the moral issues involved.

More Web sites have emerged that make it easier to download music legally, and at a fairly low cost.

In doing this legally, you’re not breaking the law and you’re supporting the artists you love.

But until students are as susceptible to being fined or arrested as they are to receiving a virus for file-sharing, they will continue to download music in high numbers.

Because you know as long as students can get away with it, they’ll participate.