One of my favorite subjects,
Here is my rationalization of why its ok for me to download songs.( Besides I like free stuff)
I predominantly listen to EDM( electronic dance music for those who dont listen to it) The majority of which is meant to be heard live being spun by DJs. I feel going to see DJs spin the music I love is a better way to support them and their efforts than buying CDs. Dont get me wrong I buy lots of CDs but mostly mixes by DJs. DJs make way more money spinning at clubs and other events than they do off of records so I feel its better for them in the long run, not that I can speak for them but I dont see how making some record company richer will help them much.
Another reason is , as an aspiring DJ I spend alot of money on vynil, so the EDM companies are getting my money anyway.
Of the non EDM music I do download, it is predominantly oldies and classic rock. I avoid commercial pop music as a rule. I just dont like it as a whole and I dont feel they put out a quality product and will not buy it, much less download it.
I can rationalize this till the fat lady sings,but since I didnt buy the fat lady cd I wont hear her.
But if I never downloaded any songs I would have never found what is now the most important thing in my life right now and that is my love of music. I eat sleep, read, write and crap music. and I quite honestly will do anything to support this,
Music is meant to be shared, and make people happy, maybe that is some oddball raver thought but music has changed my life and that is from downloading off the net and if someone who has more money that I will ever see in 3 lifetimes doesnt get more because someone is sharing music on the net.
Sorry, here is a hankie
If someone can prove that file sharing has cause severe, as in going out of business, financial hardships to record companies. I would consider changing my view, but when a multi billion dollar company complains because people would rather get their crap for free than waste money on it.
As for morality, well morality is relevant to each individual. Is it technically illegal, yes, but as I see it , it is immoral for record companies like sony and such to push their crap music on the public at high prices for an inferior product.