The down-low on downloading music

Dana D'Orazio

The college campus downloading-file sharing frenzy has not gone unnoticed by the music industry. With familiar sites such as Kazaa gaining in popularity, the music industry is feeling the impact with each file-swap, resulting in a loss of precious profits.

The latest actions being taken by music corporations, and artists alike, are taking in this fight against file sharing is called “spoofing.”

Spoofing is the newest weapon in the music industry’s arsenal and consists of a frustrate-and-fail tactic. Music companies are using this tactic of “spamming trading networks with decoy files in an effort to frustrate traders and, hopefully, drive them to seek music from one of the industry’s legitimate downloading destinations,” according to musician Gil Kaufman.

These “decoy files” are seemingly normal music files, yet when downloaded, the listener discovers the song, after playing for a few seconds, is interrupted by messages from the artists themselves with files promoting their latest releases or other “decoy files” to actually try to solicit the listener to stop downloading illegally.

In any effect, the idea is to frustrate the downloader into turning to legal downloading sites. Spoofing is becoming widespread and can even offer rewards for participants. One such company involved in this spoofing epidemic is Covenant.

This company spearheading the recent spoofing action and is presently recruiting listeners to post these “decoy files” themselves.

In return, participants can receive cash and prizes with a slogans that read “Promote upcoming albums. Protect your favorite artists. Help legitimize digital media. Win thousands of dollars for doing jack!”

The question remains, will it work? Maybe a better question to ask is whether the music industry has missed the point. Why do so many music listeners turn to downloading music illegally?

I would venture a guess that one word says it all … CD price. We’d like to think it’s all about the music and not about the money, but maybe we’re all just being “spoofed.”