Lee Koontz is jonesing for a fix of new
And there are plenty of people online willing to help him.
With little effort, he could download a leaked copy of the
rock band's seventh album, Binaural, which won't be
released until Tuesday.
But Koontz isn't looking for immediate gratification. He said
he would prefer to buy the CD on its opening day, complete
with artwork and liner notes.
So far he's managed to keep the album at bay, with the
help of an informal collective called the Resistance, which
formed on the Internet newsgroup alt.music.pearl-jam.
"It feels like I need a support group or something," Koontz,
24, of Richmond, Va., said. "The majority of people on the
newsgroup have already downloaded the album and are
listening to it and talking about it freely. It's kind of tough to
The Resistance is a pocket of morality in the increasingly
gray area of online music. While millions of people are using
Napster, Gnutella and other programs to trade near-CD-
quality MP3s of songs without permission of copyright
holders, these fans are bolstering each other with
encouraging missives about not giving in.
"Viva la resistance!" is the common refrain.
But sometimes it's hard to stave off peer pressure.
Onetime Resistance participant Matt Cosentino caved in
the wee hours of Tuesday morning, after his good friend
told him he downloaded a copy. Soon, Cosentino had his
ear glued to Pearl Jam's first ukulele number, "Soon
Forget," and the single "Nothing As It Seems" (
HREF="http://media.addict.com/music/Pearl_Jam/Nothing_As_It_Seems.ra m">RealAudio excerpt
"I just couldn't take that he was listening to it before me,"
At 2 a.m. he posted a confession to the newsgroup. "I'm
out," he wrote, sounding like a character from the infamous
"Master of Your Domain" episode of the sitcom "Seinfeld."
Others are hanging tight. If they can make it to a midnight
sale, there are only four more days to endure.
Interestingly, few of the Resistance members write about
the illegality of downloading the music. Fans such as Mike
Rogowski, 19, of Grand Rapids, Mich., say they are simply
trying to preserve an experience.
"When I was a kid, my parents always gave me a present
on Christmas Eve," he said. "And every Christmas morning
I was sad [having] opened it, because there would have
been one more."
So Rogowski continues to wait, avoiding Internet posts
from those who've already snatched the set. But while he
acknowledges it isn't easy, he tries to maintain a positive
"It would be a lot harder if it was a couple months to go," he