We hear about it every day. Musicians, filmmakers, and even the lowly special effects guy talking about how they have been hurt by illegal downloading. Yes, it's a shame. We download one little song and the artist has to find new work. The advertising campaigns for anti Piracy ads cost hundreds of thousands every year. So clearly they must mean business. No, they make that money back in Lawsuits. So there you have it. Metallica is being hurt by people who download their music. But how come Metallica complains, a major multibillion dollar band, while struggling independent groups band together for the right to illegally download music? Because my friend, who owns a band, knows that if he puts a few tracks of his CD on Kazaa or Limewire, somebody who wants to hear a song about "Valentine's Day" just might pull up his song. Hell, he might like the song enough to buy an album. He doesn't get advertised in stores. He self produces. Most stores will not stock them, because many times the artist cannot pay to make enough copies for them to be stocked. Most musicians don't have a label willing to produce them that will still give them creative control. Many labels will reject good music for the more commercial. And it is the more commercial musicians who are afraid of the independents. Which is why the push the idea that downloading is stealing. Despite the fact that 60 % of people end up buying the Album they download in the first place. The MPAA does the same for, for the same reasons. They don't like independent filmmakers, only allowing one or two to slip by while they create movies that are sold as "independent" despite being studio films. They made Tarantino. They made the movie Sideways. Even Dogma was advertised as Independent. Meanwhile, they created the MPAA ratings system. Ratings based on content. Makes sense, right? Since the ratings became Mainstream, the masses have decided to not see movies without ratings. Some theaters refuse to play them. So, how can we stop independent movies from being made? By not rating them. But any movie can be rated by the MPAA. They can't descriminate. Well, they found one place they can. Money. $20,000 dollars for a movie to be rated by the MPAA. Who can't afford this? The struggling filmmakers. Of course, some manage. And then a whole different set of obstacles. America's largest video store chain is, of course, Blockbuster. Blockbuster refuses true independents based on the disribution company. That is why the great indy horror film, Katiebird, was rejected. Katiebird is a phenominal movie that most people will not see, despite it's greatness. It was shot on a budget of less then 30,000 with a minimal crew and a decent sized cast. With oscar worthy performances. The Oscars and the Grammys (or any awards show) do not celebrate the independent artists. Their hasn't been an indy film up for an academy award for ages, and music shows only sell what gets radio play. And now, we have youtube.com. I love Youtube. Right now, major entertainment conglomerates want it destroyed. Or, perhaps, bought out to help promote their agenda. Once again destroying the independent artists.