Why Downloading Music Should Be Illegal

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Chris Manley
4/18/13
Prof. Berry
Public Speaking

Persuasive Speech
1. Introduction
a. Have you ever downloaded music before? Right now there is someone who is illegally downloading music off the internet which is causing a record company to lose money. Illegally downloading music online is a crime that can give you unexpected lawsuits. This causes negative effects in the music industry, the harmful effects of illegally downloading music online and how it has affected the artists and musicians. Many believe that downloading music for free isn't illegal at all. 2. Can you go to jail for illegally downloading music?

b. Making unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings is against the law and may subject you to civil and criminal liability. A civil law suit could hold you responsible for thousands of dollars in damages. Criminal charges may leave you with a felony record, accompanied by up to five years of jail time and fines up to $250,000. You may find this surprising. After all, compact discs may be easily be copied multiple times with inexpensive CD-R burning technology. 3. How much can you get fined for illegally downloading music? c. Fines for illegal downloading (and for sharing music) run a fairly wide gamut. The minimum penalty for downloading or distributing, according to the RIAA's website, is $750 per song. As has happened in previous cases, however, that rate can run into the thousands and even the hundreds of thousands. And that's just on the civil suit side. If found guilty of a felony offense, downloaders face an additional $250,000 fine. None of these prices, of course, factor in legal fees. 4. Does illegal downloading hurt the music industry?

d. Some studies show that those who download music illegally wouldn't have purchased the music legally anyway, and that illegal downloading actually stimulates digital sales. Other studies suggest that the drop of music sales and the availability of free...
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