Found this over on my friendly Slashdot which points to an interesting article over on the New York Times..
Every year Michael Greene, the president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, stands onstage during the show he runs, the Grammy Awards, and delivers a speech about an issue that pertains to the music world. On the broadcast last week, however, he chose a strange way to make his point.
The issue he addressed was the unauthorized trading of songs on the Internet. During the awards show he showed clips of what he said were three students downloading "as many music files as possible from easily accessible Web sites." He added that in two days the three students downloaded nearly 6,000 songs
"Now multiply that by millions of students and other computer users, and the problem comes into sharp focus," he said. As he made his point, the cameras zeroed in on the three students, all looking very sheepish.
And now one of these downloaders for hire (at about $12 an hour), Numair Faraz, has stepped forward to say that Mr. Greene's claim that three students downloaded 6,000 files from easily accessible Web sites isn't even true. For starters, Mr. Faraz, 17, isn't a student: he left school to start his own technology business. But more to the point, he says that the group didn't spend two days downloading music; they spent three. And most revealing, he says that most of the music wasn't even downloaded from publicly accessible Web sites.
Speaking about Mr. Greene, Mr. Faraz said, "He said it took two days to do all the stuff, and we did it for three days from 9 to 6 and left the computers on all night long, except we'd come back and the computers would be frozen."
"I was the only one who used Bearshare and Kazaa extensively," he continued, referring to two popular file-exchanging programs. "And half of my files never completed: they were halfway downloaded or not downloaded at all."
As for the two others, both students at the University of California at Los Angeles, he said they hardly even used file-sharing sites. Instead, he said, they used AOL Instant Messenger (estimating that they were sent around 4,000 songs via instant messages!), a chat program, to receive songs, which friends sent them from their hard drives. This not only means that the songs weren't on public Web sites, but also that there is no guarantee that they were ever illegally downloaded, since some could have been from CD's purchased by students and ripped into their hard drives.
News source: NY Times - The Pop File - Downloading Files and Storms (No registration required, thanks /.)