Not long ago, a New Yorker cartoon showed a woman, arms crossed and a stern look on her face, peering over her husband's shoulder at the computer. He turns to her pleadingly and says, "I swear I wasn't looking at smut. I was just stealing music."

It's easy to snicker at that cartoon, but the issue of online piracy is no laughing matter. It's been well- reported for years in the secular music industry, which has fought back by taking operations like Napster to court and even filing lawsuits against individuals who've illegally downloaded tunes.

But the problem isn't limited to the mainstream. Christian music is dealing with it too. According to at least one survey, Christians are just as likely to illegally download music as non-believers.

The Gospel Music Association has had enough. The GMA, sort of an umbrella organization that oversees much of Christian music, is fighting back—not with lawsuits and court dates, but with an awareness campaign that essentially asks consumers to examine their own habits and morals.

Adopting the slogan, "Millions of Wrong Don't Make a Right," the GMA is spreading the word in an attempt to curb the trends. They've partnered with the Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA) to develop a website to help accomplish that goal, and they waste no time getting to the point:

"Stealing music is the same as stealing anything else," the site proclaims. "It is illegal and the consequences are real—for you and for the music." Among the consequences noted are that "the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) can sue for as much as $150,000 per song illegally downloaded," many of those sued have settled out of court, for an average of $3,000.

The GMA and CMTA have decided not to pursue lawsuits, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Tags:
Read These Next
Current IssueImmigrants Are Reshaping American Missions
Immigrants Are Reshaping American Missions Subscriber Access Only
Latino congregations are launching their own international partnerships to support ministries and churches in their homelands.
Current IssueChrist's Transfiguration Is a Sneak Preview of Our Future
Christ's Transfiguration Is a Sneak Preview of Our Future Subscriber Access Only
Jesus' transformation on the mountain might have more to do with us than we think.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
The Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
Let’s get unchurched evangelicals back into church, and prejudiced evangelicals back to the Bible.
Christianity Today
The GMA Fights Back
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.