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Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?

Illegally downloading music is a crime that should be punished. However, it seems a bit harsh to ruin somebody for doing so.

Reuters reports that the 8th Circuit Court of Apples in St. Paul, MN has reinstated a verdict demanding a woman by the name of Jamie Thomas-Rasset pay $220,000 for illegally downloading and sharing 22 songs.

I am not aware of the back story. Did the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) try to work something out with her? Was she was caught several times? Are there other extenuating factors? Those caveats notwithstanding, it seems vindictive to ruin somebody financially for such a misstep, especially something so common.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.