Yes, it looks as if this file-trading thing has gotten out of hand. Sure, you may say you’re “previewing” the new Mariah Carey track, but when was the last time you actually bought one of her albums? Hmmm… We thought so.

According to the latest RIAA statistics, at any given moment over 35 billion people are swapping major label songs. Songs by Diana Krall, Norah Jones and Pearl Jam are zipping across the ether as you read this, broadbanding their way to someone’s hard drive where they will be played over and over without a thought as to artist compensation, let alone reimbursing the poor honest record label for the expenses accrued for discovering and developing such talent. Clearly, something must be done. And fast.

Now, we’re not going to lecture you. We’re not going to tell you that swapping songs by Whitesnake and Vanilla Ice is a crime and that you’re taking money out of the pockets of hard-working record company execs who want only a new SUV or a ski lodge in Aspen for their labors. We figure you’ve already heard all that. Instead, we’re going to take the direct approach.

Just stop it. Now.

There. That wasn’t so tough, now, was it? Gosh, solving the big problems of the world is easier than we thought. Hmmm… Maybe we should get Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and whomever is running Palestine this week on the phone. After all, one should always strike while the iron is hot.