Pirate's Life

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A Pirate’s Life for Me
“You wouldn't steal a Car. You wouldn't steal a Handbag. You wouldn't steal a Mobile Phone. You wouldn't steal a Movie. Movie Piracy is Stealing. Stealing is Against the Law. Piracy. It's A Crime.” We all have seen this commercial on the television or when you go to see a movie at the theater. Everyone has read in the paper about the lawsuits that have been made by the RIAA against file-sharers of music. Other than that how much do we really know about media piracy? In this paper I will explain to you what media piracy is, how it works, the facts about piracy, and why media piracy is hardly a crime at all.

There are many types of media piracy, but the main topic I will cover will be music piracy. “Music piracy is any form of unauthorized duplication and/or distribution of music including downloading, file sharing, and CD-burning” (http://www.cmta.com/brochure.htm). So in a simple case of a person having a song that he/she likes and wants to show it to his/her buddy by e-mailing the song to them would be breaking the law. I believe if anyone got sued for thousands of dollars for a simple act like this, they would be very upset and feel almost even attacked by the government. Most of this so-called “illegal downloading” of music occurs on college campuses. Can you show proof of this? Therefore college students are the most targeted when it comes to lawsuits for illegal downloading.

Who is taking action on these pirates? The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry (http://www.riaa.com/about/default.asp ). This association is the main prosecutor for illegally downloaded music. Here are a few interesting facts about the RIAA. “The RIAA can sue for as much as $150,000 per song illegally downloaded. Almost 2000 individuals have been sued by the RIAA for illegally downloading as of March, 2004” (http://www.cmta.com/brochure.htm). Pretty scary, huh? Not only do...
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