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No time for love

Technology is for real, baby
Dear Dr. Jones
by GZO Jones

s GZO Jones enters his third year of gracing our pages, it's probably wise to note that he still considers himself the missing link between the 1950s and 2003. That he's added a hit-counter to his Brazilian Web site (GZO Jones Town) must mean he still plans to do something someday soon. As we wait, why not ask a question? It's not a bad bet that at least he'll have something unusual to say.

Dear Dr. Jones,

I've been reading a lot about the vicious pogrom aimed at Internet music downloaders. I did quite a bit of downloading during a recent layoff and I'm starting to get worried. I hear no one is safe, not even advice columnists. Should we both expect a knock at the door?

Musically Challenged

Dear MC,

I don't know who your sources are, but the download police won't come after me no matter how many Captain and Tennille albums I steal. I live in Brazil.

However, to be serious for a moment, I think the American downloaders are doing everybody a great big favor. They're acting as agents of change and bearing the brunt for accelerating the extinction of the recording-company dinosaurs.

So far the dinosaurs have sued a grampa whose grandkids were swapping, and some 12-year-old homegirl in a dicey neighborhood. All it's done is kick up some lingering bad publicity. To my knowledge, they haven't yet nabbed any of the brainiac kids, much less the evil hacker-types that plot the downfall of things like the RIAA. Until they get them all, they'll have their hands full. We all know the kids'll stay at least a step ahead.

But if you're still worried there are a few options.

You can simply click a box on the program to stop sharing files from your machine while you keep downloading. That makes you a scab, of course, but who's counting?

You can go back to paying $19.95 for the new Justin Timberlake disc. You can go cold turkey and never download again. You can download from one of those overpriced dollar-a-song sites. Or you can quit listening to music altogether.

But people didn't read less once the light bulb was invented. Nor did they respond to Henry Ford by investing in horseshoes.

Technology is for real, baby. Like Lee Iacocca used to say in the commercials – you gotta lead, follow or get out of the way.

Maybe someday soon we'll all be paying a reasonable $15.99 a month to download to our hearts' content. Then we'll think back to this point in time and thank our lucky stars for the bold and the brave among us.

– Jones

Examine more advice from GZO Jones, visit his Web site and e-mail your problems, large or small, to gzojones@hotmail.com.

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