Thou Shall Not Download - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

08/14/03

Thou Shall Not Download

Morgan Nunnally loves finding Christian music online.

"It's so easy to find everything," she says.

Websites like KaaZa have opened her eyes and ears to many Christian artists she never knew about before.

"I just downloaded a CD the other day. It's Jeremy Camp and I listened to it and I love it," she says.

Critics say downloading bypasses retail, making Christians wonder if thou shall not download.

Mike Harper is a D.J. at Tyler's Christian radio station KVNE.

"I think it's become one of those things kind of like jay walking. Everybody knows it's not right, but nobody will notice so they do it anyway," he says.

Mike says downloading is stealing copyrighted material, and that Christians would be better off not doing it.

"Save your pennies and go to the store," he says.

Paul Herman at Lifeway Christian bookstore agrees, but he says the Internet isn't all bad for Christian Music.

"Yes, it's hurting the artists who is doing a specific project," he explains. "But when you look at the industry, I think it's helping it."

Christian music is growing in popularity and as a result, at his store sales are up. But nationwide Christian music sales are in a slump, down 1.7 million dollars since 1999.

"They (Christian Artists) have to charge more for their live performances because they're not selling records," explains Mike Harper. "People are buying one and making 20."

So what's a Christian to do?

Morgan says she's got the answer.

"There are some Christian artists that I buy their CD's simply because I want to support them. I have some of their songs downloaded, but I still buy their CD's."

For her downloading is sampling if you pay for it later.

But this year alone, Christian music sales have dropped 11 percent. Secular music sales have dropped eight percent. Both claim it's due to Internet piracy. Right now the Gospel Music Association, and the heads of EMI and BMG Christian music divisions are launching task forces to address the problem. They say they are looking at faith based solutions as opposed to filing lawsuits against down loaders.

Michelle Mortensen, reporting.

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