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Teens Don't Buy Legit MP3s Because They Can't? 365

Posted by Zonk
from the seems-a-little-ehhh dept.
iSeal writes "According to a recent study, 13-17 year olds are both the most likely to pirate music, and also the most likely to own a portable MP3 player. Yet, as this article goes on to say, the lack of credit card ownership prevents teens from buying music online. The author maintains that since regular record shops don't sell MP3s, or gift cards to places that do sell MP3s, its practically impossible for teens to buy legit MP3s on their own. From the article: 'If the only way to obtain music online continues to be through illegitimate means, then we are no better off than in the days of Napster.'" I'm not sure I agree with some of the conclusions here (you can buy iTunes cards at Walgreens), but it's an interesting discussion.
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Teens Don't Buy Legit MP3s Because They Can't?

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  • well then (Score:4, Funny)

    by macadamia_harold (947445) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @05:34AM (#16346341) Homepage
    Yet, as this article goes on to say, the lack of credit card ownership prevents teens from buying music online.

    Clearly, the only solution is for the RIAA to start providing teenagers with credit cards. That can't possibly go wrong.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Even if teenagers had credit cards, I think teenagers would still more likely opt to illegally download mp3s just because it's "illegal", therefore it's cool to do so.
      • Re:well then (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mike89 (1006497) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @09:48AM (#16347607)
        That's not at all the reason why. The reason (at least for me) for getting MP3s 'illegally' is because I have such a varying taste of music and munch through it so quickly, it's not economically viable for me to buy the amount of albums I actually download just to try out an artist. I'll download an artists discography and randomly insert their tracks into my regular playlist, usually as I go to sleep. If a track wins my attention, I'll remember it and it'll become part of my regular listening. However, most bands cannot capture me with more than a couple of songs. For the bands who do, I don't want to buy low-quality DRM ridden MP3s via some crappy software. 3 bands have managed to "Woo" me enough for me to spend money on them, so I go to CDUniverse and use my Paypal account (doesn't require credit card) to get their albums (or DVDs) posted to me. One local band (The Living End) has managed to get me as a fan, and I've bought all their releases bar one since I started liking them. I downloaded the one I didnt buy (illegally), and didnt like that much of it. But, I've gone 2 of their concerts based around that release, so theyve more than made their money back off what I "deprived" them of by downloading it. I bought their live version of the same album because I like the songs live. So, no, we don't download illegally just because it's cool.
      • Re:well then (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hackstraw (262471) * on Saturday October 07, 2006 @10:09AM (#16347767)
        Even if teenagers had credit cards, I think teenagers would still more likely opt to illegally download mp3s just because it's "illegal", therefore it's cool to do so.

        In the US, I have noticed a trend since the 60s and 70s to make more "normal" things illegal, and it makes the tension between the system and the government and the people very high. Abraham Lincoln said it best:

        "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things
        that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

        Which was then followed up by HS Thompson:

        "In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity."

        So much is illegal, but its not "that illegal", and that is crap. In societies where sex, alcohol, and drugs don't have these insane and intense laws and taboos against them, they do less of them than here. In societies where pornography and nudity are more tolerated, they have much less rape, child abuse, and teenage pregnancies than we do. In societies where drugs are legal, they do less of them than we do. And the legal consequences keep getting more severe here.

        Back to MP3s, I think its completely stupid that after 10 years of them being around that its still basically illegal to get them. I just got an iPod, and nobody told me that I couldn't just put MP3s on it. What Apple did, was pretty slick to appease the record business, but its a PITA that I have to go through hoops to put my legal MP3s on it from multiple computers. Honestly, if I knew this from the beginning I wouldn't have bought it. I will never buy "legal" MP3s from "legit" sources, because my freedoms will be limited even more. Instead, my plan for new music is to buy used CDs, rip them, and sell them back. And even that takes a bunch of silly effort. I have so much music, and its a pain to manage it between my home, my car, and work, and elsewhere.

        • by ZorinLynx (31751) *
          >but its a PITA that I have to go through hoops to put my legal MP3s on it from multiple computers.

          Huh? I've never had a problem putting MP3s on it from multiple computers. The only thing you have to go through hoops for is to copy MP3s *OFF* the iPod; however there are plenty of free utilities (Senuti, etc.) for doing this.

          Also, you have to reformat a Mac iPod for Windows (fat32) in order to use it on both platforms... But as far as putting MP3s on it from multiple computers, there are no obstacles for
          • He could have a problem with iTunes. I've had a few problems with it erasing the music on the iPod and then copying over that computer's music. iTunes in general doesn't let you use more than one computer per iPod which is why I stopped using it (they may of added the feature, but I really don't give a fuck at this point).

            Anyway, I use GTKPod on a few different Linux machines and Yamipod on a few Macs to sync up/trade music with friends (I keep mine HFS+ formatted).
            • Re:well then (Score:5, Informative)

              by ZorinLynx (31751) * on Saturday October 07, 2006 @01:25PM (#16349137) Homepage
              This only happens if you configure your iPod to let iTunes manage it completely. It'll also ask before it wipes out anything on the iPod.

              If you set the iPod to manually manage music, you can use it on as many computers as you wish without a problem. Heck, you can even copy DRMed iTunes tracks from a number of different authorized machines to it, and it'll play them all without a problem.

              Please, stop circulating FUD just because you don't know how to use the software. :)

              -Z
        • by ZakuSage (874456)
          Depending on how "old" your taste in music is, you could always borrow CDs from a library and rip those. ;)
    • wrong (Score:2, Funny)

      Clearly the solution is that the **AA's should be able to prosecute any teenager that doesn't have an actively used credit card. Because they're stealing music. That has to be the conclusion of the article.
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        Or maybe they already maxed out their sub-$400 credit limit on gas and food? Credit cards suck ass until you've used them long enough to be useful, and at that point, you avoid them because you know that debt is bad and paying it off sucks.
  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BerkeleyDude (827776) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @05:38AM (#16346351)
    I don't buy MP3s because there's no freaking way to just buy the files - not stream them, not download DRMed crap, but just buy the plain old MP3s.

    Rhapsody? iTunes? Can't do that.

    Only independent websites (e.g. magnatune.com) have the decency to give you something worth paying money for.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by reub2000 (705806)
      Try eMusic. I *heart* their merge records and matador collection.
    • Re:DRM (Score:5, Funny)

      by bartron (772079) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:49AM (#16346605)
      because there's no freaking way to just buy the files
      Where I buy all of my mp3's from I can do jsut that....DRM free ;)
      Bartron
  • by Seiruu (808321) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @05:39AM (#16346353)
    IMO, much more interesting to know is who
    1. Wouldn't buy them anyway if they couldn't have gotten them through illegal means (IMO the majority)
    2. Would buy them anyway after getting them through illegal means (somewhat split with the third option)
    3. Wouldn't buy them after getting them through illegal means
  • Debit Cards (Score:5, Informative)

    by jjeffrey (558890) * <slash@NoSPAm.jamesjeffrey.co.uk> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @05:45AM (#16346363) Homepage
    OK Credit Cards aren't available to under 18's but in the UK at least you can get a debit card from as young as 13 - a lot of kids have them and they work on iTunes here.

    Not the same in the US?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jjeffrey (558890) *
      Oops sorry slip of the tongue - I do know the difference between the US and Canada - apart from anything else the US would never get in to the Commonwealth :-)
    • How many American sites accept, say, Switch? How many UK sites accept US debit cards, for that matter? When I first bought a game off Steam, I had to wait for the bank to give me a Mastercard.
      (Yes, I know you can get e.g. Visa debit cards.)
      • Re:Debit Cards (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jjeffrey (558890) * <slash@NoSPAm.jamesjeffrey.co.uk> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:00AM (#16346413) Homepage
        iTunes is effectively a different site in each country though, accepting the local methods of payment. For example in the EU, Maestro/Switch.
      • by blincoln (592401)
        How many UK sites accept US debit cards, for that matter?

        In America, we don't have a Switch/Interacc type of debit card. Anything issued by a bank is Visa or Mastercard branded. I thought it was completely bizarre when I lived in Canada for three years and they'd done it the other way. I couldn't figure out why anyone would think it was a good idea to introduce a new, incompatible card type.

        So, to answer your question, any UK site accepts my debit card, because to them it looks like I'm using a Mastercard c
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          I thought it was completely bizarre when I lived in Canada for three years and they'd done it the other way. I couldn't figure out why anyone would think it was a good idea to introduce a new, incompatible card type.

          In the UK, the reason is historical. In the '70s, there were three credit card suppliers; Access, Mastercard and Visa. Visas were only issued by Barclays (Barclaycard and Visa were synonymous when I was growing up). Mastercard was predominantly a US brand, and was quite uncommon. Access

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mr2001 (90979)

          In America, we don't have a Switch/Interacc type of debit card. Anything issued by a bank is Visa or Mastercard branded.

          Actually, we do... your debit or credit cards probably have logos on the back like Star, Plus, Cirrus, Instant Cash, Interlink, etc. Those are debit networks, and when you use your debit card at a store and they give you the option to enter your PIN instead of signing, they're trying to get you to use those networks instead of the Visa/MC network (which charges higher fees). Before the Vis

    • Re:Debit Cards (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:00AM (#16346415)
      And on the iTMS you can buy Pre-Paid cards from Tescos/Sainbury's/Asda, you can set up an allowance funded by your parents' credit card or can recieve a non-physical gift over the internet. There are plenty of ways that an under 18 can access legal music, the reason they don't is because 79p is worth a lot more to a 13 year old than it is to a 24.
      • Re:Debit Cards (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pc_Madness (984705) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:20AM (#16346501)
        Indeed, the prepaid cards for iTunes are everywhere, so its not so much an excuse of not being able too cos of a lack of a credit card.. but more the fact that most teens that age don't have money, and if they do, why would you want to spend what little you have on something everyone else is getting for free? I know I got funny looks when I announced I bought some songs from iTunes (and regret it since cos of all the hassle the DRM has caused me).
        • Yeah, but there's no dynamic allocation of resources with iTunes Cards. If you have a credit/debit card, you can buy 2 songs from itunes and the rest of your money is still allocatable for other things. Once you buy an iTunes card its good only for iTunes.

          Besides, I don't buy the whole "no credit card" thing, unless they really mean that they can't overspend and run up huge debt by buying more than they can afford. Debit cards (aka Visa Check Cards) are given out like candy at all the banks I know.
          • by nxtw (866177)
            I've seen the cards for as low as $15. Not very much at all, if you ask me.
          • by rizzo420 (136707)
            i believe in order to even use the itunes card, you have to register on the music store with a credit card. i prefer not to buy from itunes for obvious reason (DRM), but i do regularly "buy" their free downloads. it required me to put in a credit card for that.
          • by dthree (458263)
            Besides, I don't buy the whole "no credit card" thing, unless they really mean that they can't overspend and run up huge debt by buying more than they can afford. Debit cards (aka Visa Check Cards) are given out like candy at all the banks I know.


            How is it possible to run up debt from a debit card?
            • by jZnat (793348) *
              Ever heard of bouncing a cheque? That induces penalty fees as well, so there's even more debt to be paid off at that point.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by TheRaven64 (641858)
              I don't know if this is the case in the US, but in the UK there are two categories of debit cards. The fist are things like Visa Delta and Switch. The second, newer, ones are things like Visa Electron and Solo. They can only be used in places that use an electronic system, and perform a balance enquiry before authorising transactions. The traditional type, however, can be used anywhere, including places that use the old-style machines that take an imprint of the raised portions of the card. A payment w
        • by Lumpy (12016)
          You are forgetting something.. what did you do with your friends at that age???

          traded tapes of your music. I recorded many of tape,LP and then CD later when I was 18 and they showed up on the scene. well out of highschool and into college.

          mp3 trading is 100% identical to trading tapes of your music. and is only getting attention because the RIAA has a bug up their butt and it's easier to share that mp3 with 60,000 of your friends.

          I dont care if a kid has a $100 a week allowance, he/she will still trade mp
    • It's the same in the US. I think the bigger issue is money? Why would a kid spend money (a very limited resource for kids) on something they could get for free?
      • by dthree (458263)
        That was what I was thinking. It wouldn't matter that much if the did have a mechanism for buying because they often don't have money anyway. When I was a teen, we traded tapes with our friends because we couldn't always afford albums/CDs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lwells-au (548448)
      I just checked on the Australian iTunes Store* and the options listed are Visa, Mastercard or American Express. No debit card option that I can see. I would also point out that whilst teens don't have credit cards because they can't, I would estimate a reasonable percentage in their late teens and early-20s also don't either because they have no great need or don't trust themselves not to get themselves in to debt (like me!).

      Just as in the UK and US, iTunes Store cards are easily available in Australia (i
      • Most debit cards I know of (ones issued by St. George, IMB, ANZ) use the VISA network. I believe Commonwealth Bank debit cards use the Mastercard network. Anything that accepts payments by VISA/Mastercard can accept payments by these cards. It functions exactly the same as a credit transaction, except it debits your account instead of extending your credit.
        • by lwells-au (548448)
          I know that a number of banks offer a "Visa debit"-style card, but as far as I am aware its usually not the default debit card, which are typically just Plus or Maestro/Cirrus style ATM cards. Furthermore, the enhanced debit cards aren't (AFAIK) available to those under 18 and sometimes not available on the basic savings accounts that younger individuals are likely to hold . Regardless, I should have noted this in my original post :)

          Of course some banks, like the NAB (my bank), don't even offer this style
    • Actually you can get both underage. My parents gave me a credit card at 16 with the understanding it was for gas, groceries, and "emergencies".

      The closest thing to trouble with it, that I had was I was in Norway and used it to get a cash/kroner advance at an ATM. After I got the money, I paid it off.

      But the card had a policy that you get a 5 dollar fee if you have not paid off the cash advance + interest, completely. They calculated new interest everyday so by the time you received the bill, paid it, and th
  • by TERdON (862570) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:02AM (#16346427) Homepage
    I'm not at all surprised that teens don't buy MP3s. Almost no one sells them! iTunes sells AAC tunes, so that doesn't count, and almost all others use WMA. The only exception I can think of allofmp3.ru and indie record companies which only cater to a niche market...
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:07AM (#16346445) Homepage Journal
    They can pay with mobile phone credit.
  • iTunes gift cards (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:09AM (#16346449) Homepage
    In the UK there are quite a few places you can buy iTunes Gift Cards / Vouchers (Tesco, Sainsbury, Argos). Coca-Cola are doing a promotion at the moment where you get a free download from iTunes with each bottle bought. Of course this is limited to 3 per household and you also need to like Coca-Cola*

    You also need to have an iPod and iTunes.

    *This isn't strictly true as you could buy the bottle for the voucher and give away the drink, or not drink it at all
    • by fermion (181285) *
      Not only that, but for the few non-iPod kids parents can purchase a subscription service. Parent can also set up allowances on iTunes.

      This is really not about lack of funds, but about limited funds and opportunity costs. Listening to the average kid, they want all the music that is popular. However, there is not enough money to buy all the popular music, and making choices is not so easy at an early age. To solve this, the kids buy copied music for $4 instead of legit music for $12. $12 represent to

  • I disagree (Score:4, Informative)

    by Propagandhi (570791) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:11AM (#16346463) Journal
    I had a debit card when I was 15-18 so I could have bought music off the web had I chosen to and had the option been available. The real problem is that teens don't have that much cash. All my money was going into my ball and chain at the time (otherwise known as D&D), the ability to pirate music was there so I did it. Pirated music was a lot better than no music at all.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lumkichi (900689)
      For the fortunate ones that have a bank account when they were very young that might have worked. The fact is there are a lot of teens who don't have bank accounts until they go to college. They simply don't need it -- their life is cash. And as far as I know, anyone can buy an iTunes card at Walgreens or CVS. But teens without credit cards cannot use them in iTunes program until it is validated -- the validation process requires a credit card before the stupid system will give them access to the credit
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) *
      For your case that is a bad (Really Bad, So bad it makes me angry) excuse to illegally download music. Saying I do not have enough money form of entertainment because I spend to much money in an other form of entertainment, so I have to steal the first form. There is a thing in life called "budgeting" it is a concept that most Americans fail to grasp.
      The first step to this "budgeting" is to realize what You need to live Food, Shelter, Heat, Water, these things you always need to make sure you have enoug
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by unapersson (38207)
        The industry always wants to have it both ways though. They want to create this desire to have the hottest new things they are producing at the time. While pushing this desire at a group that doesn't necessarily have the resources to buy what they're demanding they "must have". So this whole sharing situation is a natural result of that marketing.

        They want teens to buy CDs, DVDs and games by getting hold of as much of their part time job or parents money as possible. That's why the losses to piracy figures
        • I can just imagine someone using that argument, "Sorry, I had to pirate the music; all the marketing made me want it so bad. It's society's fault."

          I guess that really doesn't fly with me. Yes, I do think that marketing is definitely high-pressure, but that doesn't mean absolve people of personal responsibility. I'd much rather people stand up and say "I pirate music because I don't want to pay for it" than to try and pass the blame on to society.

          Yes the piracy losses figures are a joke, but that doesn't
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eepok (545733)
        Watch your vocabulary friend. He said nothing about his reason being an excuse, so get off your holier-than-thou rant and read the post for what it said.

        Summary: I believe teens just don't have enough money to entertain themselves in all the ways they'd prefer. Music is easy to get for free, so they pirate.

        Was there a request for validation or suggestion that his reasoning was just? No. Ok, so back off.
      • Re:I disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

        by It'sYerMam (762418) <[thefishface] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @09:52AM (#16347639) Homepage
        You probably disagree that it's a good excuse because it isn't an excuse at all - it's a reason. It doesn't have to justify pirating, but it is one cause of it, so we can understand it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ronocdh (906309)
        Yes, it is very good to expound the virtues of budgeting, especially (I think) to young Americans. However, you must understand that the concept of budgeting is innately obscured when the ownership of an item not well defined. I'm sure you believe that the artist or the record company holds exclusive ownership of a CD, as that's what it says on the paper documents those parties've hard arranged. The problem is, digital content is infinitely duplicable!

        If you purchase a car, and it's sitting in your drive
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:11AM (#16346465)
    There is no fucking point. If the cops ever stop at my house, I'm screwed anyway: I copy CSS protected DVDs (illegal), I listen to copyprotected CDs on my MP3 player (illegal), I have and know how to use Wireshark (formerly known as Ethereal, soon to be illegal where I live), I encrypt my data (my own data, not illegal but encryption means I'll never get my hardware back). I might as well go all the way. That's what legislators need to get through their thick heads: If you make normal behaviour illegal, you produce criminals. Not only do you hang a sword over the head of good citizens, you also cause more illegal behaviour. If people don't have a fighting chance to be law abiding citizens, then they stop caring about the saner parts of the law as well.
    • by LordLucless (582312) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @09:46AM (#16347593)
      "To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt."
              - E. C. Stanton
    • by jimicus (737525)
      know how to use Wireshark (formerly known as Ethereal, soon to be illegal where I live)

      Really? Where's that - I need to knock it off the list of "places I might like to live"?

    • by dptalia (804960)
      "The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be." -- Lao Tsu
  • by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:16AM (#16346485) Homepage

    Sure, I'd buy a lot of stuff online. If only paying for the stuff wasn't such a great big pain.

    Why is it that international banking is such a great big headache? When the money or goods - virtual or not - cross the borders, everyone seems to be grabbing part of it, if not the governments then the people who transfer it?

    Why isn't there a simple, universal, reliable, regulated method for transferring money internationally, no matter how big or small sum? A simple service you'd get automatically when you open a bank account, anywhere, in any bank in the world?

    Because people go for the "it works for me" kind of approach. To American companies, credit card "works for me". As long as there's a stopgap measure that covers 85% of who they consider their market segment at the time, there's no problem. They just happen to ignore the tons of people who silently mutter "well, I'd love to get this, but I can't".

    Sure, I'd love to buy music. I'd love to buy tons of music. I use Linux and have a (non-Visa-logo) Visa Electron. No iTunes for me? Well, looks like I'm still sticking to ocremix.org and remix.kwed.org for my music needs, then, it's not like other people are producing much music worth listening to anyway.

    There used to be some sort of non-DRM MP3 store that had grand total of two songs available and required SMS messages as payment. That rocked. Yay. Too bad they never went past the pilot phase. Would have been the perfect model.

    Think of Google. They went for the "long tail" thing - index every nook and cranny of the web, make web advertising easy for small sites, both as advertisers and as advertising space sellers, and make life easy for advertisement viewers too. Then think of search engines of 1996. Small indexes, tons of big-name advertisers, ludicruously priced annoying ads, "let's just focus on the big sites because that's where the money is". That didn't go too far, now did it? And where's Google now?

    (Not saying Google Money Transfer would be a particularly good idea - PayPal is a private company and has a lot of problems not found in banks. Not saying Google should necessarily go to the music store business either. =)

    • Sure, I'd love to buy music. I'd love to buy tons of music. I use Linux and have a (non-Visa-logo) Visa Electron. No iTunes for me? Well, looks like I'm still sticking to ocremix.org and remix.kwed.org for my music needs, then, it's not like other people are producing much music worth listening to anyway.
      Perhaps you work on getting the Linux and Open Source community more open to the concept of allowing DRM, and not making it as evil the Devil. Because God forbid people actually making money off their labo
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by WWWWolf (2428)

        Perhaps you work on getting the Linux and Open Source community more open to the concept of allowing DRM, and not making it as evil the Devil. Because God forbid people actually making money off their labor, and how dare they try to protect their work! The Linux and OSS Community is great at screwing them selves over.

        I guess this has been explained tons of times already, but here goes: Random Linux users probably don't care if there's DRM or not. Random Windows or OS X users probably don't care if there

        • by Elbows (208758)

          Open source folks are more than happy to implement your DRM if you have a completely open specification. If you can't release the specification because it depends on a "secret" part and releasing it would undermine the whole thing, then it's a crappy attempt at DRM that will be undermined by l33t Hax0rz one day anyway, so why bother.

          The reason there's no open-source DRM software is not because the content companies are short-sighted or too dumb to make "good" DRM algorithms. It's because open-source DRM

  • iTunes & MP3s? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aceticon (140883) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:18AM (#16346493)

    I'm not sure I agree with some of the conclusions here (you can buy iTunes cards at Walgreens), but it's an interesting discussion.


    iTunes is selling MP3s? Since when? Last i heard they where only selling DRM encumbered stuff (which is the reason i personally haven't bought anything from iTunes ... and i do own an iPod).
  • International Teens (Score:3, Interesting)

    by owlman17 (871857) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @07:01AM (#16346647)
    I live outside the continental US. If I were a teen, I couldn't buy from iTunes or Napster or Rhapsody, etc even if I wanted to. Heck, not even if I begged. Probably the only legal option available for us outside the USA is eMusic.com. (Which is also good since they sell regular non-DRM mp3s.) So teen or no teen, people living outside the US are far likelier to just get that stuff off illegal file-sharing.
  • by bwalling (195998) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @07:03AM (#16346655) Homepage
    I remember back when I was young, we could go out and by music on optical discs. They played in your stereo, in your car, and you could even rip them to MP3. You could even head down to a used record store and pick up used CDs for around $8. Of course, back in those days, we had to walk both ways, up hill, in the snow.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by evilviper (135110)
      I remember back when I was young, we could go out and by music on optical discs.

      Yup, I remember those days too... $20 a disc, for a CD that is 66% empty, which has exactly one song on it you actually like.

      Those were the days.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jesselnz (866138)
        Where the hell does everyone get the "$20 for 1 good song and a bunch of fillers" thing from. When I buy a cd I pay $10 or $15 for 40 to 60 minutes of music that I actually like. If an artist is able to release a whole album with just one good song... then that probably means they suck.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by shark72 (702619)

          "Where the hell does everyone get the "$20 for 1 good song and a bunch of fillers" thing from."

          Why, from the Big Book of Piracy Rationalizations, of course! Here's the TOC:

          1. CDs cost $20.
          2. CDs only have one good song.
          3. All CDs have DRM. All of them.
          4. Artists Don't Make Money Selling CDs
          5. Except The Ones Who Are Really, Really Rich, So It's Still OK
          6. Artist Only Make Money Touring
          7. "If they can't or won't play live, or their musical style is not fit for live performances, then they're just not good artists an
  • A more important cause for not being able to buy legitimate mp3s for a lot (!) of people is that such services are not available. And I'm not talking here about hundred feet deep windowsless cell under the Anctartica ice.
     
  • Next to the POS terminal at your grocery store, you'll see gift cards by the dozen from various vendors (probably including iTunes) and a couple or three debit card brands. I use the one from Netspend [netspend.com]. I can use it almost anywhere (some smaller stores going through third-party accesss to credit card companies can't handle my card) either in RL or online, and I can transfer money to another card holder by going to the site and providing the transfer info, practically instantaneously and free of charge, and
  • Er... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Peet42 (904274)
    "(you can buy iTunes cards at Walgreens)"


    How does that help someone who owns a portable MP3 player? (As distinct from an iPod)
  • not just teens (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Scudsucker (17617)
    I would bet that the vast majority of pirates have a very high debt to income ratio, and couldn't buy more than a small fraction of their collections even if they wanted to.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by deanj (519759)
      They should do what the rest of us do. Wait until they have to money to pay for it.

      Otherwise it's just an excuse.
  • Get gift cards out there a lot more (some aussie stores sell gift cards for the australian iTunes service but there needs to be more)
    Another option would be to push use of prepaid credit cards (basicly, those cards that you get and load up with a certain amount of money and can then be used like a credit card) or debit cards (credit cards that take the money straight out of your bank account). Unfortunatly, for some stupid reason, you have to be over 18 to get prepaid credit cards or debit cards too.
    • by vidarh (309115)
      Many countries let you get debit cards from you're 13. The main limitations is that those debit cards usually don't have visa or mastercard numbers tied to them, and so depend on merchants supporting various local debit card schemes (such as switch/maestro or solo in the UK)
  • by smchris (464899) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @10:31AM (#16347935)
    I know a kid who went bankrupt in high school so I see the problem. But this is a good point. In today's economy, _shouldn't_ a teenager have access to credit in order to participate?

    The question is how to do it. Being old, I remember when credit card companies had "learner's" college accounts with limits like $200-$400. Maybe the companies have become so insanely greedy sending out applications for $10K-$20K limits for people's dogs that they just don't want to be bothered with miniscule accounts that train young people to be responsible? But they should.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      Dunno about credit, but they have debit cards that function wheverver you would use your credit card these days. They just take money from your bank account. Sometimes they're branded as "check cards".

      Keeps you from spending money you don't have.

  • Target. Wait. Shit. Nevermind, I'm old now. :(
  • You can buy prepaid debit cards in all the drugstores and supermarkets around here.
  • It's kind of silly for the article to insist that teens don't buy MP3's because the only place they can shop with cash, record stores, won't sell them. Besides the fact that it's partially untrue, that iTunes gift cards and similar are sold in stores, the article seems to ignore the thousands of media files sold in stores on small plastic circles that can almost effortlessly turned into MP3s.
  • Broader issues (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scottsk (781208)
    Maybe teens aren't the mindless droids that the RIAA members think they are and don't want the sort of junk that RIAA members are producing? Maybe they're buying used CDs and ripping them? Maybe they're discovering classical, jazz, and progressive rock? Who knows, but I have trouble believing that any segment of the population would be inhibited by friction in collecting money in this day and age! Hard to imagine a teen couldn't use a family paypal account. Or that some venture capitalist wouldn't throw a f
  • "I'm not sure I agree with some of the conclusions here (you can buy iTunes cards at Walgreens), but it's an interesting discussion."

    So you're saying that kids who (most of them) cannot drive a car, must go to a STORE, so they can go back home to buy things ONLINE. Why not just GO TO A LOCAL MUSIC STORE (while there are still some left).

    No. Here's a better solution. Apple or somebody has to set up either prepaid accounts that parents can initiate for their kids, or quotas that their kids can't bypass.
  • Not exactly true (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @02:57PM (#16349831)
    There are banks that offer pre-paid credit cards to teenagers, with their parents' approval. My daughter gets her allowance on one that USAA offers. It's gotten to the point where she hates cash - when she gets paid after babysitting, for example, she'll immediately give it to me and ask if I could transfer money to her card.

    Apple should be happy, because that seems to be where the majority of her money goes (and yes I have regular backups in place for her computer).

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