In the 21st century, many changes have been made to digital media. One such media that has experienced an extreme change is music. It is no longer just a type of media that is made by singers and bought by consumers, but it is now part of the “dark, scary” side of the Internet. There are even journal article authors who have written about music piracy. “Music is the most widely pirated media in the world today. From singles to albums to recording demos, music of all genres is ripped and released into the music piracy scene” (Craig, Honick, and Burnett 174). These authors illustrate how big music piracy has become. Currently, in the world of music industries, music piracy is taking over the “money business” and leaving musicians financially unstable; this instability is the reason for convincing music pirates to stop downloading music, illegally, off the Internet by coming up with different solutions to the issue of piracy. The solutions consist of finding other websites where music downloading can be done at a reasonable price, taking legal action if necessary, and coming up with hi-tech development that could stop pirates from downloading. People may be wondering what exactly music pirates are defined as. According to Amy Witherbee, they are normal, everyday people who download music illegally off the Internet (2). Music piracy has been occurring for a long time, as long as the 1700’s where “music was conventionally regarded as lying beyond the purview of copyright altogether, so publishers sold unauthorized reprints freely” (Johns 67). Later, though, big companies started to form in the world. Shawn Fanning, a college student, created the Napster Company online, and once it was established, everyone started to use Napster in college and it spread around quickly becoming the new website to use and download music from (Wade 10). Anyone can do the downloading through Napster and many people participate. Also, music piracy is definitely not an untouched topic. There have been law cases against certain Internet companies that allow music sharing to occur. For example, Matt Richtel discusses in the New York Times article that the company Fanning started (Napster) was part of a court case against The Recording Industry Association of America. The court had ordered the industry and company to get along by allowing Napster to copyright certain music that the recording industry approved and, of course, for a price. Napster failed to have the music approved and only caused the court case to become bigger. Finally, the judge ordered Napster to stop swapping copyrighted music that the recording company owned. Even though all of these controversies occurred, Napster and music piracy, in general, still believe they are doing no harm to the music industry and that they are actually benefiting the sales and profits. In an article titled Securities Price Effects of Napster-Related Events, there is a phrase that reads “the evidence indicates that events that threatened Napster’s survival resulted in decreases in the stock prices of the music firms” (Navissi 167). Even though Napster believed they were beneficial, it turns out they brought nothing but harm to the stock market. It was actually beneficial that Napster was shut down. The court case is just one of the many issues Napster has been through. It was a part of eleven court cases and, finally, Napster was told to discontinue its company online (Navissi 167). Other companies are still up and running, though, and there is not going to be a stop to piracy just because one company has been shut down. It will keep on occurring until a stop is put to the companies. As the years have been going by, music sharing and downloading has been increasing and less people seem to care about it now. There were once many news articles and online articles that discussed music piracy during the early 2000’s, but it has seemed to die down now. There has not...
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