I just downloaded Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” from the Gnutella p2p network a few minutes ago. I’m listening to it as I write this, hoping it serves as a suitable jumping off point for my latest thoughts on downloading music. This is not only because it’s the most recent song I’ve “stolen,” in the RIAA’s parlance, but also because it was one of my first.
I was late to downloading, simply because I had a 56K modem and no patience. When I got a cable modem and took to downloading, Napster was in its death throes. But I did snag a poorly ripped version of this song, one of my favorite ’80s metal-lite anthems, and it has occupied three megabytes of my mp3 collection ever since. That is, until just now when it was replaced by a 256 kbps version. While the question of why someone would see Dee Snider worthy of such a staggeringly high bit rate is one for the ages, a more important question beckons. Why did I download the song in the first place?