Digital Music Piracy
Every day people through out the world are downloading millions upon millions of digital music from the Internet illegally. Using a Peer-to-peer file-sharing program integrated in websites like 4shared.com and MEGAUPLOAD.com. As having friends in the Music Industry, I do believe people should not break the copyright law and instead pay the music artists for their work. Although this ongoing issue is in a way hard to control, record label companies, Internet service providers, along with governments around the globe should associate more to carry out existing solutions that would end digital music piracy. In these Peer-to-peer file-sharing sites people would download and upload misappropriated digital media. Many people who take part in this type of exchange recognize this process as file sharing. However, under a court of law in the United States and other parts of the world is considered to be illegal distribution of media or copyright infringement. The file sharing process involves a hacker (or an individual who hacks into other computer systems) pirating digital music to then upload the media file into the Peer-to-peer file-sharing website. Where individuals who refuse to compensate the recording music artists and their record label company, would then download the digital music of desire into their computer.
Many music artists come from lower social status, which in most cases inspired them to work very hard in recording studios in hopes of someday waking up rich and famous. With corrupted individuals continuing to leak out their talented work of art for public enjoyment free of charge, their dreams might not be fulfilled. Just like a skilled carpenter gets compensated by individuals who hire him for his unique field of work, the same guideline should apply to talented music artists. Due to this ongoing dilemma in the music world and other entertainment industries, there is a decline in overall record sales including concert ticket sales compared to a decade or two ago before the Internet revolution began. Some are afraid that if digital music piracy continues, the creativity among the talented music artists might slow down or eventually come to a halt. Currently, recording companies from every different type of music genres are playing the blame game concerning lost revenue with consumers (“Williams”). Resulting in recording companies paying the artists themselves a lower percentage from royalties received from sold music records of artists. Besides the recording artist, digital music piracy also directly affects talented music producers and songwriters who are relying on sold records in order to get a piece of the pie.
Downloading one song illegally or sharing may not seem as if you committing a crime like murder but without paying the people who are accredited with the creation of that song destructive in a way. As proof to the damaging cause of digital music piracy, the Institute for Policy Innovation concluded a study. The analysis shows that an estimated annual harm to the United States economy due to digital music piracy is $12.5 billion dollars in losses, 71,060 lost jobs, and $2.7 billion dollars in lost wages to American workers (“Siwek”). A first step that can be carried out by recording company is teaming up with Internet providers who can then trace down IP addresses of individuals who are downloading copyrighted digital music. Not only could this be applied for illegal music download but to pirated movies and ebooks. Prior to beginning any legal actions to any law breaking individuals, a warning should be given. Informing the individual that if the illegal activity continues legal actions will be pursued by the record companies or their lobbyist the RIAA. If after the given warning the hackers or individuals continue infringements of the copyrighted digital music than a lawsuit should be follow by the record companies along with its recording artists.
A second solution to this dilemma would be educating individuals at an early age of the importance of compensations to talented music artists and other people who help create the record. Educating them of illegal music download being against the law betraying the songwriters and recording artists who create it. Preventing the careers of new recording artists and striving music bands. As well threatening the employment of working people from professional recording engineers in the studios to music retailers and their entire staff. Informing the kids of the consequences that occur if ever caught like the Minnesota mother who downloaded 24 songs illegally and became the first person sued by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for copyright infringement with fines totaling $1.9 million dollars (“Stevens”). Making the young generation feel terrified and afraid of illegal music downloads similar to programs D.A.R.E. or Drug Abuse Resisting Education. A police prevention program educating kids in schools nationwide of illegal drugs and informing them of the uses regarding drugs like cocaine, heroine, etc., and their physical effects. This approach would make kids keep in mind that not paying for downloaded digital music from the Internet is breaking the law. Being hopeful that the young generation will think twice before trying to download digital music illegally from Peer-to-peer file-sharing websites in the future.
Another solution to controlling digital music piracy would be to collaborate with the federal government or Department of Justice in creating a special unit specializing in copyright infringements. This task force can potentially focus on shutting down Peer-to-peer file-sharing websites that violates the United States Copyright Law. Banning them from the Internet if they don’t comply with the copyright law that protects recording companies and its artist from piracy.
As can be seen in the specifications stated above regarding the affects of digital music piracy to music industry, record companies should innovate ways to fight against piracy. It should get Internet providers who can be key players in controlling more this dilemma to cooperate for the good cause of helping out young music talent to strive and succeed in the music world. Also with the help of the Department of Justice, this trio could catch and punish those individuals that have no respect for the copyright law passed by lawmakers to protect music innovators.
1.Siwek, Stephen. “The True Cost of Sound Recording Piracy to the U.S. Economy”. 21 Aug. 2007. The Institute for Policy Innovation. Web. 2nd Mar. 2013.
2.Stevens, Tim. “Woman Fined $1.9 Million for Downloading 24 Songs”. 19 Jun. 2009. Switched. Web. 2nd Mar. 2013.
3.Williams, Sudara. “Music Piracy Is Not a Problem, It’s an Excuse”. 30 Jun. 2012. TorrentFreak. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.