Last Updated 16 Apr 2020

Music Piracy Is a Good Thing

Category Music Piracy, Piracy
Essay type Research
Words 1247 (4 pages)
Views 415

Music Piracy is a Good thing Pirating music is one of the most common crimes in the world that happens everyday. However, ones you read this essay, I hope you will see this issue from a different perspective, it may not look like such a terrible crime after all. Most successful artists make in the tens of millions every year according to eHow. com. If that's the truth, how badly is piracy really hurting these people? If music piracy is effecting the artist so much then why do majority of the artists are living in mansions bigger than the White House?

If pirating music hurts musicians income so badly it would show, and after all this time of pirating music it hasn't. Music piracy benefits artists more than it hurts, therefore it should be legal. Music piracy is mostly committed by people who are everyday people who have average income jobs and have families who end up being sued by big record companies over downloading music for free. It seems a bit to greedy when you look at the difference in pay between the artist and the people who download the songs. ( …) say that the people who pirate the music are more likely to go to the show and buy the albums after downloading music (Ernesto).

Also, people who pirate music tracks are very likely to develop an connection to the bands orartists and that will lead to them attending the shows, buying albums and merchandise. When putting this issue in perspective, record companies are just looking for money without any consideration for the ways of getting it. Record companies start suing people who have downloaded music for ridiculous amount of money in attempt to intimidate and scare off the fellons from downloading music illegally. The main groups affected are college kids that don't have the money.

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Sarah Barg was a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Sarah received an email from a label company stating that she owed $3,000 to the Recording Industry Association of America (Bratton). For that amount,, Sarah would be paying $7. 87 for each song. Majority of the songs she pirated were from the eighties and weren't even relevant anymore, and yet she was battling record company’s in court over them them. Sixty students like Sarah at UNL received the same similar, as well as hundreds sent out to over sixty other universities across the country. Not knowing ow else to handle the situation, Barg contacted her parents and they had to cover her settlement. "I don't know what I would have done. I'm only 20 years old," says Barg. Well over five hundred students across the states have paid settlements to avoid being sued. "I see it as bullying," UNL freshman Andrew Johnson says, "Legally, it makes sense, because we don't have the money to fight back. " Johnson illegally downloaded one song and settled $3,000 to avoid being sued for one song. The money used came from the 18 year old's college fund and he now has to work two jobs to compensate for his losses.

The record companies seem to target those can't fight back. In 2007, major record companies such as Warner music groups, Warner Bros Records, Inc. , and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, tried to sue a young girl from Texas named Whitney Harper for illegally downloading music from file sharing networks on the internet (Malisow). Whitney was at the time was sixteen years old and was being sued for a minimum of $750 per song when Whitney downloaded thirtyseven songs. That is a little over $20,000 and she is only sixteen years old.

Harper tried to use the Innocent Infringer Act that would reduce fees to $200 per song. In order to accomplish that, Harper had to prove she was unaware of the copyright laws by claiming that the copyright notice placed on cds were not on the file sharing networks on the Internet therefore she was unaware. The companies referred to the sixteen-year-old as a "long term massive infringer" of copyright laws. Harper warned that if the companies won the case that downloading music off the Internet could never be innocent infringement. The Harper case is one the few after many years still going through federal court.

The companies had stated they were going to begin transitioning away from suing individuals and find better means of fixing the issue. After years of record companies using an intimidation method to fix the pirating problem, it got them nowhere because the amount of pirates only went up, and the efforts by the companies were in most cases useless. According to the Wall Street Journal, they attempted suing many single mothers, a thirteen-year-old girl, and a dead peope. The new approach is for the companies to work with Internet service providers and when music is eing pirated the user receives a warning that they will lose Internet service if they continue(WSJ. com). The companies still reserve the right to sue if someone is a heavy violator or has ignored several warnings, but even with this new system, it still seems like the companies are only out for money, but in an attempt to escape negative attention from the media, they change their approach. According to The Independent, people who illegally download music also spend more money on music, concerts, merchandises than anyone else.

The Secretary of State for Business, Peter Mandelson, stated that the record companies new approach to crack down on illegal down loaders by cutting off internet service could potentially harm the music industry more than help it. "The people who file share are the ones who are interested in music. They use file sharing as a discovery mechanism. " The artists also have mixed opinions over file sharing, some such as James Blunt and Lily Allen are anti-piracy and Shakira is pro-piracy(Shields). Sites have come out with monthly bills for unlimited music plans that seem fairer.

Some artists don't feel affected by file sharing and support the fact that piracy creates a bigger fan base for them. Bands like Angels and Airwaves have produced free records so copyright wasn't an issue. They figure that the fans will still come see them play and record sales aren't the only thing to being in a successful band. Some artists don't seem to realize that. Most artists make plenty off of record sales even with a piracy problem, so court cases and law suits on everyday people by record companies seems a bit greedy and selfish.

Even with the new laws, they are still pushing to stop this unstoppable problem. Today music piracy is referred to as a dead issue. Most cases that are still pending are being dropped. This year a $54,000 fine on a single mother of four was dropped by the U. S. District Court Judge, Micheal Davis, who stated piracy is "no longer monstrous and shocking. The need for deterrence cannot justify a two million verdict for stealing and distributing twenty-four songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music"(physorg. om). Thomas Rasset was convicted in 2007 and was ordered to pay $220,000, but the judge who presided over the trial called off the verdict, saying it was "wholly disproportionate and oppressive. " Her case was one of the thousands that had actually made it to court. In 2011, with new laws, these cases should not be forgotten about. The people who lost cases should be compensated and apologized to because they did nothing other than have an interest in the artist.

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Music Piracy Is a Good Thing. (2016, Dec 28). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/music-piracy-is-a-good-thing/

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