Grinding Noises

I've Got The Music In Me

Creating, downloading or even storing MP3s without the permission of the copyright owner of the original track is now illegal in Australia. Because thousands of Australians still have MP3s floating around on their hard-disks, the federal government has created a nation of lawbreakers overnight.

This new law means no using Napster, naturally, but also no copying tracks from CDs to your hard-disk for compressing and downloading to a Rio or similar device. Yet such devices remain on sale here. How does one use them legally? Presumably, hundreds of Australian Rio owners are now walking around listening to MP3s of themselves warbling Natalie Imbruglia songs in the shower.

But why stop there? If governments and record companies are truly concerned about people keeping unauthorised copies of songs for their personal use, the real problem isn't what's on their hard-disks: it's what's in their heads. Thousands of unauthorised songs are being downloaded from the airwaves into cerebellums as we speak. Hard copies, note for note, without paying an extra cent!

Ah, but it's not a complete copy, you say; it's impossible to remember every sound on the original CD. Even worse! By reducing a song to its essence you're compressing it without the permission of its creator.

What's more, some brazen types have the effrontery to go around humming these stolen songs—rebroadcasting them to the public without paying royalties.

There's only one solution: erasing all unauthorised songs from our brains. Expect a government program of mass shock-therapy to be announced shortly.

Repeat offenders can then be singled out for harsher treatment: a musical lobotomy. Previously lobotomised fans of certain artists need not apply.

Legislative insanity, coming soon to a country near you!

7 March 2001
©2001 Rory Ewins