“Hello, Father. Say I really like Rick Springfield, Third Eye Blind and The Smashing Pumpkins, but I have no money to buy their CDs. Is it a sin to borrow a friend’s CD, convert the tracks into MP3 files and then distribute the files on the Net?

“That is a difficult question, Lars. Before we can discuss whether or not it’s a sin, we must first understand the definition of sin.”

“Excuse me, Father, but I think I’m better qualified to answer that one. Lars? This is Hilary Rosen from the R.I.A.A. Yes, it is a sin to record and distribute MP3s.”

“Is that a venial sin or a mortal sin?”

“Father Warner here, Lars. It’s not that simple. There are many issues that come into play. There are few ‘yes or no’ answers when it comes to sin. Right, Hilary?”

“I’ll have to disagree with you on that one, Father. Lars, recording MP3 files of acts like Tim Finn or the is the worst sin you could commit. It’s worse than murder, adultery and skipping Mass on Sundays combined.”

“I think Hilary is pulling your leg, Lars.”

“I think the good padre needs to read his Bible more often. In the book of Metallica, chapter 20, verse 10, it states that the eternal punishment for creating and distributing MP3s, no matter if it’s The String Cheese Incident or Brian Wilson, is being chained and hung from the highest cliffs of hell while vultures peck at your body and Milli Vanilli plays endlessly through the largest sound system in all creation. Make no mistake about it, MP3s are nothing to play around with. They are the ultimate evil.”

“On that note, that’s all the time we have for tonight. Hilary, any last comments?”

“Remember, if you make and distribute MP3s, you’ll burn in hell!”

“Er, This is Father Warner, and tonight our guest has been…”

“You’ll burn, burn, burn!”

“Hilary Rosen of the R.I.A.A.”

“And not only that, but your children will burn!”

“This has been Hark! The Angels Sing.

“And everyone who plays your evil MP3s will burn!”