Internet Piracy has become a worldwide phenomenon. In the U. S. alone more than 100 songs are downloaded every minute. With this growing problem, 3 main groups suffer. The recording artist suffers financially, the RIAA (The Recording Association of America) also suffers financially and finally the downloader suffers if caught. This catch 22 tool has been a thorn in the side of technology since its introduction in 1999. Since then, downloading- or peer-2-peer sharing- has become one of the worst acts of technology affecting the world at large.
Since the introduction of Napster back in the year 2000, many more P2P sharing networks have been invented to keep the illegal industry alive that left the RIAA in a fix. However, in the light of such programs there has also been uproar of other legal P2P programs that offer the same speed for a price. Many people don’t believe in paying a price to get their music. The RIAA, which collectively represents every major and minor artist out in the market right now has been slapped with programs taking profits from the artist as well as the industry it self.
In an effort to control pirating, the RIAA, according to an article in Information Week, the RIAA has been trying to pressure people to stop downloading by sending out more than “…400 letters to 13 U. S. universities advising of potential copyright infringement lawsuits against students…” (Adegoke. 2007. ) The issue here is though, the letters are just half the solution. What happens to the finances of the artist. Times have changed and unlike back in the time of a young Michael Jackson, artists don’t make their money in music sales.
It used to be- before the threat of P2P networks- that records were being certified 8 and 10 times platinum because of sales. Now a days artists like Mariah Carey, who had a 2005 comeback debut with the Emancipation of Mimi, make the majority of their profits with the sale of tickets for concerts. Mariah Carey who experienced international success with the album went on to get a certification of three times platinum with in just two months of release. (Billboard. 2007. ) This certification however doesn’t take into consideration the number of downloads that were happening before the release up to the date of certification.
As the RIAA cracks down on scaring people to get their act together and to purchase songs legally, other programs like iTunes, the operating program behind the ipod and also one of the main (legal) online music providers in the world, has provided an inexpensive way to legally get songs from an internet based program with out all the repercussions of dealing with the RIAA. Although it’s more common now to use iTunes as a music staple, there are people who despite the legality and popularity of the program prefer and advertise the use of the compact disc in its entirety.
In An article by Valerie Block of Craines New York Business, she states that’s she wasn’t into the free and dangerous downloading websites and programs (Block. 2007. ) But as iTunes became so popular, she enjoyed the ease of “…Buying singles for 99 cents and albums for 10 bucks. ” Like Block, many consumers don’t enjoy forking over almost twenty dollars for a disc of material when in fact all they want is one song. Doug Morris, who is the head of Universal Music Group, wants to- as said by Block- “weaken the four-year-old e-tailer’s (iTunes’) grip on digital music sales. (Block. 2007. ) Just as there are people who have a fond opinion about downloading music for free, there are also people who believe that programs like iTunes are taking away the meaning of the entire piece of material by just downloading single tracks. Personally, as someone who has been downloading music from both iTunes and Ares Pro, I fail to see why it would affect the artist in such a manner. To my knowledge, all the artist cares about is the opportunity for their fans to enjoy their material and also to be able to make a profit from it.
Block, who is an avid iTunes downloader states that rapper turned business mogul Jay-Z has refused to put his latest work in the iTunes store. (Block. 2007. ) The rapper who just released a theme C. D. called American Gangster based on the theme of the movie featuring Denzel Washington, stated in the article, “his album should be purchased in its entirety, like, say, a Picasso”. (qtd. in Block. ) The issue of downloading programs legality has- in my opinion- been blown way out of proportion in many ways.
These efforts don’t do anything for the artists, as they are depriving the consumers a chance to enjoy the material that the artist have worked hard for them to enjoy. Besides, who is the recording industry kidding, no matter the amount of downloads that go on in a day, artists still make money. Between every time a song is played on the radio, played as an advertisement stunt in the next Pantene commercial, modeling gigs and appearances and other business endorsements they are making more money than many people. Further more, the RIAA only seems to be irecting their line of downloading prejudice to the programs that are in the front, both neglecting the less popular programs such as Bear Share and online forums that offer both tracks off the latest compact discs as well as the disc in its entirety. As a challenge to the RIAA and artists like Jay-Z, a change in pricy pieces of material should be looked into to avoid both the issue of legality in downloading as well as the issue of finances amongst the artists. Works cited Arney, Juliane. “Become a music master: here’s what you need to know about downloading music for the internet. IDEA Health & Fitness Source 22. 5 (May 2004): 63(3). Academic OneFile. Gale. Albertus Magnus College. 5 Dec. 2007 . Crawford, Kate. “Adaptation: tracking the ecologies of music and peer-to-peer networks. ” Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy 114 (Feb 2005): 30(10). Academic OneFile. Gale. Albertus Magnus College. 5 Dec. 2007 . Siegfried, Robert M. “Student Attitudes on Software Piracy and Related Issues of Computer Ethics. (Author abstract). ” Ethics and Information Technology 6. 4 (Dec 2004): 215(8). Academic OneFile. Gale. Albertus Magnus College. Dec. 2007 . Smiles, Robin V. “Technology’s pros and cons. ” Black Issues in Higher Education 21. 2 (March 11, 2004): 4(1). Academic OneFile. Gale. Albertus Magnus College. 5 Dec. 2007 http://find. galegroup. com/itx/retrieve. do? contentSet=IAC-Documents&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&qrySerId=Locale%28en%2C%2C%29%3AFQE%3D%28KE%2CNone%2C11%29downloading%3AAnd%3AFQE%3D%28TX%2CNone%2C18%29downloading+music+%24&sgHitCountType=None&inPS=true&sort=DateDescend&searchType=BasicSearchForm&tabID=T002&prodId=AONE&searchId=R2¤tPosition=41&userGroupName=27001&docId=A114697869&docType=IAC
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