“Hey, Eddie, whatcha up to?”

“I’m beta testing a new online music service, Jerry.”

“You mean the one the RIAA created for college students in hopes of ending the copyright infringement wars that have paralyzed our nation?”

“That’s the one, Jerry. The recording industry hopes that, if they can provide a reasonable alternative, college students like you and me won’t resort to file-trading networks.”

“Yeah, right. So, how is it?”

“Well, I’ve downloaded the latest songs by Good Charlotte and Electric Six. I’ve also snagged that Thin Lizzy catalogue that I’ve always wanted, but…”

“But, what?”

“I dunno, Jerry. It just doesn’t feel right.”

“What’s the matter? Is it the price?”

“Oh, no. The subscription fee is buried in our student activity fees. I did the math and it works out to something like .01 cents a song. Besides, I’m a beta tester, so it’s not costing me anything.”

“Then is it the selection? I’ve heard that these services don’t have everything.”

“No, the selection’s fine. Ani DiFranco, Junior Senior, even Fritz’s Polka Band, you name it, it’s here. A guy could spend months downloading tracks and he would hardly scratch the surface.

“Then I’ll bet it doesn’t have any unreleased tracks, like when those Radiohead tracks hit Kazaa before they were released.”

“No, they have those, plus unreleased songs by Hanson and Pat Boone. Heck, they even have Dylan songs that Bob hasn’t written yet. As far as selection goes, I’d have to say it’s just like Kazaa, but better.”

“Then what about the download speed?”

“Like lighting, Jerry. Plus, their telepathic programming module downloads the songs before I can even think of them.

“Wait a second, Eddie. Let me get this straight. With the new, legal service, you can download anything ever recorded, including songs by Aretha Franklin and Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash, even unreleased tracks by, say, matchbox twenty. Plus, it even reads your mind and downloads what you want before you even know you want it. That sounds like a great service. What can you not possibly like about it?”

“I dunno, Jerry. I just don’t get that same thrill of victory I always experienced whenever I found and downloaded something I was looking for on Kazaa or Gnutella.”

“You mean it’s no fun if you’re not ripping off the major record labels, uh? Can’t stick it to the man, eh?”

“You got it, Jerry. Leave it to the RIAA to screw up a good thing.”