Business Research Project
Should people be allowed to download movies and music from the Internet or are they violating copyright laws? There are compelling arguments on both sides. Research shows the argument can go either way.
The research project investigated copyright infringement of downloading movies and music on the Internet. File-sharing is a fast growing industry with more new sites being added all the time. Approximately two billion songs are downloaded illegally every month. The losses sustained by the industry are great. "The industry loses more than $10 billion per year to illegal software; the Motion Picture Association of America puts piracy losses in the U.S. at more than $3 billion per year" (Sternstein, 2003).
The Walt Disney Company along with other companies lobbied for the United States Congress to pass laws extending the corporate copyright laws. Congress did pass laws that allow corporate copyright laws to extend to 95 years and personal ones to 70 years. This prohibits making copies of music and movies for sale and profit, but does not prohibit copies for personal use. There are lawsuits pending that are similar to the ones stemmed from copying movies on video cassette recorders in 1984. There, the judges decided that taping TV programs at home was fair use.
Those in favor of downloading believe the technology behind file sharing is important. It will enhance medical research and the flow of new information. "The recent gains scored by legal file sharing show just how much money is at stake on the other side of the copyright divide. In just five months, services such as Apple Computer's (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) iTunes, RealNetworks' (nasdaq: RNWK - news - people ) Rhapsody, BuyMusic.com and others have reported more than 9.5 million legal music downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. With downloads averaging $1 per song, the recording industry has collected more than $9.5 million"... [continues]
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