Position Essay: Should Downloading Music Be Legal?

Topics: File sharing, Peer-to-peer, Music industry Pages: 3 (1039 words) Published: June 9, 2004
Free Music Downloading

Should free- music downloading be banned? I believed that allowing free access to unlimited songs could eventually undermine the music industry; however, nobody wants to pay outrageous amounts just for a few good songs on a bad CD. When I looked up information regarding these stats, results shocked me. The people who never download files or pirate CD's (about 54% of the population) make up only 39% of music sales. The majority of sales belong to the infrequent downloaders (46%); accounting for roughly 61% of sales. The last 22% of those surveyed buy approximately 36% of CD's, the highest percentage within a given group. In other words: all those attempts by the recording industry to stop music downloads is in fact the cause of declining sales. The recording industry is shooting itself in the foot by eliminating file sharing programs.

The rise of Napster and the peer to peer (p2p) file sharing programs enable people all over the world to share music for free. In my opinion, shutting down the file sharing networks is the stupidest thing they could do. Furthermore, with all this hype about suing Napster and other such program manufacturers, the RIAA is denying the public from receiving factual information. I agree to the general downloading of music by the public, since far from destroying the industry, they in fact increase sales. I don't believe downloading a couple of mp3's falls into the category of theft or piracy. Stupid as it may seem, the record companies do. They reason that if you download even one song, you're classified the same as if you downloaded hundreds of songs.

I don't like it when I see advertisements for bootlegs and pirated movies and such. However, it is hard for me to not feel sympathetic to them when I see garbagey music selling for about twenty dollars each. What really drives me crazy is that these artists are making millions of dollars a year, and they still feel the need to overcharge for a lousy CD. I...
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