I also download music illegally...at least three or four times a week. It's how I keep up with the music scene, especially the part of the scene neglected by radio and MTV. It's how I find out whether a song I heard is reflective of the rest of the album it's on, or whether it's the band's only good song. It's what makes me an informed consumer, not a criminal. And time and time again it's helped me discover great new bands. It's what actually gets me through the door of the record store to purchase those CDs I have everywhere.
Before the RIAA goes beyond the college students and 12-year-old kids and starts filing lawsuits against blind kids and children with terminal illnesses (and lets not forget the in utero lawsuits), maybe they should consider that in some ways allowing people to download music freely can be a great marketing tool. They should consider providing their consumers with a product that is so inspiring and entertaining from start to finish that they would be crazy not to purchase it. And they should consider that the more they attack their consumers with threats and lawsuits, the less likely it is that those consumers will support the artists that they represent.