Where Did we go Wrong?

I make CDs of my favorite songs to keep me going on long road trips back and forth to Detroit from FAMU.

A friend of mine told me I was breaking the law. The closest I’ve come to going to jail was when I was caught doing 87 mph in a 70 mph zone on I-10.

People are being chastised for copying music, an activity a generation before them did without worries.

Consider this: While making the drive south on I-75 from Atlanta on my way back to Tally, I slipped a CD I’d made into the stereo.

It was filled with my favorite TV theme songs.

It’s lame, but it reminds me of a road trip I took with my twin brother – something we’d never done before – for our 21st birthday.

On my adventure back to Florida last week, I brought the disc out to have a laugh.

It did the trick.

I’m now being called a criminal, although jokingly, by my friends.

It wasn’t a problem when my sister did it 17 years ago.

Now, consider this: when my sister was a teenager, she and her friends walked around with boom boxes. When a song came on the radio that she’d been “feeling,” she’d set the box down, pull out a blank tape, stick it in the second of two tape slots, and press “record.”

It’s now the 21st century. Today things happen a little differently from the way they did in 1986.

The last time my sister dubbed a song on the radio was probably the last time I saw a tape. CDs have been the thing to have for years.

But it’s not as easy to copy to a CD as it was to copy to a tape.

In comes the Internet.The Internet is the best way to get to songs. You know, the ones you heard on the radio and loved so much you had to have right then.

Unlike the boom box, however, transactions over the Web are very traceable.

The Federal Communications Commission and other organizations are calling our version of copying music piracy.

Arrests have been made, companies have been charged with illegally distributing music and new web-based music services have sprung up.

Where did we go wrong?

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’ve heard that saying many times in the past and it should be expanded to include downloading music from the Internet.

Let me download what I want to.

For one, recording from the radio is not possible. (If it is, send me an E-mail detailing how to do it.) Maybe then there wouldn’t be such a fuss.

And I can go on driving in my car peacefully.

Listening to my corny TV theme song CD.

Marlon A. Walker, 22, is a senior newspaper journalism student from Detroit, MI. He can be reached at Marlonawalker@aol.com.