The Rise of Digital Piracy and the fall of the Music Industry
Imagine hearing your favorite band’s new song on the radio for the first time. You love it, and the moment you get home you head straight for your computer and find the song on iTunes. Upset with the fact that you would have to pay $1.29 for the song, you search the Internet and find one of the many digital piracy websites and download the song illegally. Sure, you may have obtained the song for free, but you have also just stolen from your favorite band. Growing up surrounded by music and being an aspiring musician myself, I quickly developed a great appreciation for the art. Because my father is a business manager for several bands, I went to quite a few concerts in my childhood; watching the artists perform on stage commanded my love and respect for what they were doing. As a true fan of the art of music, I was both shocked and disappointed when I learned that people were cheating the hard-working musicians by illegally downloading music via the Internet. Musicians work long hours and spend thousands of dollars writing, recording, and producing their music so stealing from them is no different from stealing from any store. Digital piracy is unethical because not only is the practice against the law, but it also has negative repercussions on the music industry as it yields little financial return to musicians and depicts a negative shift in consumer traditions. One of the biggest issues today with digital piracy, according to Pola Gupta, professor of marketing at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, is that “people feel less guilty stealing from impersonal and invisible others than they do from visible persons” (Gupta 258). Many people don’t view illegal downloading as stealing because they are not physically taking something from someone else – they are simply downloading a file from the Internet, invisible to both the musicians and authorities. Globally, 10.6 million songs are downloaded...
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