Inside The Mind Of A 9 Year-Old File-Sharer

TorrentFreak has posted an interview with a 9 year-old girl who uses LimeWire.

She has some interesting thoughts about DRM vs Downloading, and we’re somewhat inclined to agree with her…

TF. Do you think its legal or illegal to copy a CD or DVD?

– Some men right, they sell you a DVD at the market but when you get home it doesn’t play, that’s illegal.

TF. Why is it illegal?

– Duh!! Because they tell you it works and when you get it home it’s rubbish and jumps in the middle and its a waste of money!

We’ve never been big fans of “Kids Say The Darnedest Things”, but we now realize that had Bill Cosby been asking children to interpret copyright law, we would have been enthralled.

Inside the Mind of a 9 Year Old File-Sharer [TorrentFreak via Kottke]


Edit Your Comment

  1. UpsetPanda says:

    This is why I don’t talk to children.

  2. Pop Socket says:

    Now I know who still uses LimeWire.

  3. blue_duck says:

  4. Tush says:

    It’s interesting to see Hannah’s viewpoint on piracy. I think she’s a good representative for children and confused consumers.

  5. Bladefist says:

    pretty sure that proved nothing

  6. DrGirlfriend says:

    okay then.

  7. ChewySquirrel says:


  8. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    The only legality she seemd to have a grasp on was that the government couldn’t make her pay…as she is only 9. I’m sure her parent’s wouldn’t be to happy with a settlement against them. Perhaps then they’d pay attention to what she is doing on the internet.

  9. jmschn says:

    haha am i the only one who thought this was funny?!?! oh kids these days…

  10. louisb3 says:

    Uh. Incomprehensible.

  11. gniterobot says:

    Is this a story about failing schools? I don’t get it…

  12. wring says:

    you’re under 18 you wont be doing any tiiiiiime, hey hey come out and play!

  13. Zanpakuto says:

    Great, this just gives the RIAA more ammo to complain about failing record sales being due to piracy and not the fact that most new music just sucks. Although the music that a 9 year old wants to listen to doesn’t mean squat in my opinion, I didn’t even care about music when I was 9!

  14. catskyfire says:

    I found it interesting. When the RIAA goes after people, the question sometimes is ‘didn’t they realize it was illegal and they were taking a risk’? And when it comes to the young, the answer is, no, they don’t. The whole ‘if it wasn’t legal, it wouldn’t be out there, easy to get’ thing. She even connects with the idea that a physical CD would cost money because it’s a physical item.

    By the time she’s old enough really grasp that it’s illegal, it’s way too late. (Assumption is that it might take clear to college to really get that point.) It’s already a part of her life, and will only continue as music gains a great hold.

    I find it interesting that she grasps how to use Limewire, but not how to Rip a CD she’s purchased for use on her Mp3 Player.

    However much the RIAA wants to complain, they’ve already lost the basic battle and are watching a whole generation grow up with the idea that music should be free.

  15. Electroqueen says:

    That was odd… At least she was pretty straightfoward and avoided using words such as “like” excessively.

    She does make some sense. Why doesn’t the RIAA and the MPAA go after “the men” who sell actual media at “the market?” They are the ones profiting. Man I can’t walk a few blocks in Chinatown without some leary old hag spouting “DVD, DVD.”

  16. skrom says:

    The first and biggest problem I see is when they asked how she got into music and she said “You know, the music channels. MTV!” What the hell kind of parents dies she have that let a 9 year old girl watch MTV!!!! There is nothing but sex and adult language, promotion of alcohol, and gangsta images on that channel. It was bad enough when I was a kid in 1984, even back then I wasnt allowed to watch what they put on and I was 12. Obviously if her parents let her watch that garbage at her age, then they certainly wonty be explaining to her what is right and wrong when it comes to things like piracy since they either dont care much about their daughter’s development, or dont spend any time with her.

  17. Question: Do you think its legal or illegal to copy a CD or DVD?

    “Some men right, they sell you a DVD at the market but when you get home it doesn’t play, that’s illegal.”

    Who knew that the young were such advocates of straw men arguments.

  18. smitty1123 says:

    @something_amazing: Well, considering that the straw man argument basically boils down to “yea, well you’re a dooty head!”, it’s not that surprising…

    Hmm. Is it doody, or dooty?

  19. Bay State Darren says:

    The kid’s still smarter than the RIAA/MPAA/Microsoft/etc. on this stuff.

  20. Simpoleca says:

    I have lowered my IQ by reading that article.. remind me why this is on Consumerist??


  21. CapitalC says:

    9-yo’s who don’t know how to properly rip / encode CDs is why I abandoned file sharing ages ago.

  22. BigNutty says:

    OMG, this is the future generation that will save the world?

  23. UpsetPanda says:

    @BigNutty: No, this is the generation that will become dumb cheerleaders so Peter Petrelli can save the world.

  24. ShadowFalls says:

    I think many could say they would rather have a 9 year old on Limewire than a 9 year old on Xbox live.

  25. darkclawsofchaos says:

    for the RIAA to use this is as pathetic as when the movie industry blamed Halo 3 for poor theater sales, I mean people really wanted to see Heartbreak Kid by Ben Stiller and Halo 3 wasn’t suppose to stop them?
    @ShadowFalls: I couldn’t agree more, those are usually the types that whisper their trash talking so you have to hear it but mommy in the kitchen won’t

  26. HooFoot says:

    Slow news day?

  27. goodkitty says:

    @catskyfire: I’m not so sure it’s the idea that music should be “free” but that the old concept of having to physically travel to a physical store to pay with physical money for a product that was physically shipped there to play on a standalone CD deck just to read off a bunch of 1’s and 0’s is now ridiculous. The girl had a good point with the “High School Musical 2” CD, why should you have to pay and repay for the same content? If I buy a CD, I should be able to get the ringtones, the mp3’s, the lossless tracks, and music videos. And it should only be $5 if I download it (on, as she so thoughtfully notes, a connection YOU pay for). The lossy ‘low quality’ tracks should be free. If your music doesn’t suck, then you won’t worry about people not wanting to pay for it.

    I remember when I was young and trading files it wasn’t because I had no sense of copyright, it was because I was a kid, and I couldn’t spend $500 a month buying media with my lunch money (and as an adult, I still can’t with real job!) But that’s the entry fee if you really want your CD’s, video games, movies, and more on a full-pay plan, and you’re a “high consumer” of media like the RIAA wants.

  28. mopar_man says:

    I’d like to meet her parents so I can slap them. Why is a 9-year old sharing files online? I wouldn’t even let a 9-year old online besides doing supervised research.

  29. lesbiansayswhat says:

    I can’t believe she’s using Limewire at age 9. You know how much porn is available via Limewire? I do..and most videos searches I made non-porn related still popped up porn clips. Give it a year or two and she’ll be watching them.

  30. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    My opinion?

    If you buy a CD you should own it for life, period…. if there isnt a way that you can legally re-download the album then you getting it through lime wire should not be illegal.

    If no record company, DVD maker, Blu-ray, hd-dvd or any other media company is going to supply a way for you to keep the media even if you lose/scratch the disc, then they are asking for piracy to happen.

    I get DVD’s i have a *#&$load of them, but its ridiculous that they use a format that is so vulnerable to so many things and dont supply a way for you to recover the media if you lose or scratch the disc, tv-links dot co dot u kay i can watch all the movies i want on demand

    If physical media isnt going to be backed up by some kind of media license then DRM is pointless and only screws the consumer even more. Digital-rights-management, so wait, how exactly does it digitally manage/maintain my rights to this music?

    Its either going all online and digital, no physical media at all, or the media companies are going to get on the ball and start innovating. Just think, purchase a DVD, get a free copy for your computer, and you can add it to your online vault for later download by using a keycode on an inner jacket or something. Disc scratched? download a new ISO and re-burn a new one with a certified lightscribe labeling dvd burner.

    I think that lately the consumer is the person whose rights need to be protected not the artist, designer, production company, they make their money, But The day i pay 2.99 for a ringtone of a song that i purchased (for 99 CENTS!!!!) is the day i stick my finger in an electrical socket.

  31. Macroy says:

    @smitty1123: I’m a big proponent of “doody.” And a big proponent of doody in general.

  32. MrEvil says:

    @skrom: MTV was the reason I never had cable TV until I turned 21. Eventually I grew weary of jacking around with rabbit-ears and inviting myself over to friends’ houses to watch my favorite cable shows.

    Still though, the girl made some good points about paying multiple times for the same item. I won’t buy a cellphone anymore unless I can snip my own MP3s and use them as ringtones (one of the reasons I ditched iDen). I buy all my music via CD and that CD is ripped and tossed aside within 5 minutes of me getting it from the mailbox.

  33. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    What a complete waste of time.

  34. Was the 9-year-old from the UK? She used the word “rubbish” and seems to have an MTV that actually plays music.

  35. Cowboys_fan says:

    I’m not sure of the point in this article but I think most of the world feels the same way as her in that she’s not really doing much wrong. A 9 year-old doesn’t have money to be spending on cd’s anyway.
    I am one of the people who think you can’t OWN IP. I figure that if I solved all the unknowns in the universe through physics, do I own those math formulas? Of course not, nor would I get royalties(beyond a nobel prize). Its knowledge and nothing more and knowledge should be free.