Pearl Jam Fans Say 'Hell No, We Won't Download'

Members of an online group called the Resistance say they don't want to hear rock group's new LP until it comes out.

Lee Koontz is jonesing for a fix of new

COLOR="#003163">Pearl Jam.

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

resist."

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,"

Cosentino said.

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

outlook.

"It would be a lot harder if it was a couple months to go," he

said.