Pirating Music

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Rich Baker
November 12, 2012

Music Industry V.S. Pirating Music

Right now pirating music is one of the most controversial issues on the web because pirating music is illegal doesn’t mean it is causing total harm to the industry. Pirating music is not displayed properly to the public. Illegal downloading is an illegal action that can result in fines and jail time if caught but it also helps promote small bands that can’t get a deal with a record company. However it does harm profits made by the record company and the band that made the song or album. They are not the only ones though; people who worked for the country and band to help make the music happen are losing their jobs due to pirating music. There are both positives and negatives to pirating music and neither one is known enough to the general public. Pirating music is common occurrence in today’s society. Everybody has heard about it, knows someone who does it or even does it themselves. What people do not completely acknowledge are the consequences that come with it. This is what the RIAA tried to do back in 2005 “In 2005, the RIAA attempted to reduce the number of downloaders by threatening to sue. To prove that they were serious, the RIAA sued 14,000 file swappers and increased the negative consequences of file sharing by imposing excessive fines in the amount of $750 per copyright infringement (Reuters 2005). Why should you care what the RIAA thinks? The RIAA is the company who over sees many record labels in the music industry. So they monitor sales of songs and albums and also help give out awards to artists who earn them. What this means for people who get caught by the RIAA is they will pay a lot of money for just a few accounts which is demonstrated by this example “This could mean a penalty in the range of approximately $3 million for someone caught with 4,000 files on a hard drive” (Duenner 6-7). W= A case that has recently occurred involves a young man named Joel Tenenbaum. Joel has been sued by a record company for downloading and distributing 31 songs illegally after 2 years of warnings and now faces a $675,000 fine according to cnet writer Elinor Mills. So why do people continue to pirate music from the internet with these kind of consequences at stake? People who illegally download a song from a band that is not popular can spread the word. This is less costly to the band and record company and if people who downloaded the music illegally like the artist, they can go back and actually buy the song or album for better music quality. The reason for this is teens would not have bought the song or album they downloaded if they did not know who artist or song was according to Felix Oberholzer who teaches in the strategy department at Harvard Business School (Harvard Business School). What this professor believes is that there are people called “samplers” who sample a song or two and if they like the music they hear, they will go out and purchase the music. Pirating music allows people to experiment with music in a non-costly way. Not everyone benefits from illegal downloading though. People who produce the music or are in any way involved in music that has gotten illegally downloaded do unfortunately lose money. The more money that the record company loses, the less artists they can afford to promote to the public. There has been compromises to try and fit everybody’s needs. Websites like Pandora and Spottify have been created to allow listeners to listen to music at no expense. The catch is there isn’t a way to download the music off these sites onto an mp3 device or CD which is how this is a legal alternative. All listeners have to do is accept the terms to having random pop-up adds while listening to their music. Industries like the RIAA hope this can help resolve the pirating problem. Another source that was created was iTunes in 2003. The reason why iTunes was such a big success was the convenience of the online store. This way music...
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