The Music Industry and Piracy

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Imagine that one day you heard a wonderful song from the radio from your favorite singer, what would you do? Will you go to the music studio to buy the music album; buy it on iTunes or download it from the Internet illegally?

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has played an important role since the 19th century. The rise of CD (Compact disks) became a foremost method of the recording company to market their product. However, with the digital technology advancements, it changed the music industry and the music listening habit of many people, and has led to negative effects on music studios, artists, and loyal listeners.

In the early 1990s, the MPEG Layer-3 (or MP3) technology exploded in popularity and causes an enormous shift in the music industry. Prior to the MP3 technology, the music industry mostly relied on the CD players, radio or television to give rise to an artist and make profit from publishing music. The cost of producing, selling, and advertising a CD is really high. Only the top fifteen percent of the music industry earn profits from promotion their music while the other eighty-five percent music company suffers from a large loss of their profit. (Berkeley) According to Pedro Ferreira, a student from the University of California- Berkeley reports that the development of MP3 technology has not only give advantage the music industry to promote their artists but also make it easier for consumer to discover and listen to music (Berkeley). As the MP3 technology arrived, people can easily purchase music from eMusics, Amazon MP3, and Rhapsody (CNET). However, MP3 technology has not only created opportunities for the music industry, but also gave foul play to consumer for download music later on.

As the Computer and Internet technology grew rapidly and advanced in the early 2000s, the strategies of file sharing and illegal downloads were developed. On the other hand, these strategies cost the music industry millions of dollars. According to Alan Greenblatt, a digital reporter from the National Public Radio (NPR), wrote “Future of the Music Industry” and concluded that the internet technology lead the music industry to a breakdown of making less profit and becoming less popular (CQ Researchers).

Computers users had download 2.6 billions copyright files illegally from the Internet every month. Nighty percent of the teenagers admitted that they felt no guilt of downloading music and addressed that CDs are overpriced.  Napster and Kazaa, was the two most popular illegal music file sharing software. When people wanted to listen to a song, they can easily download it from the Napster or Kazaa to their MP3 player illegally instead of paying money to the legal company. Due to this situation, the price of CDs has fallen down, and even became worthless, which made the music industry became anger about their product and their lost.

Marcia Clemitt, a veteran social-policy reporter, reports that internet is harming the economy in a way of giving billions of people to download movies and movie for illegally, she called it privacy. (CQ Researchers) Many lawmakers are trying to regulate the Internet sharing in the United States to ensure the copyright law for the movie and music industry’s good.

One of the laws, Intellectual Property Right (IPR) was made to offer protection to producers or authors and to have control right of their own creation. The music, movie, and novel companies secure their property commonly by using IPR. (Economist) Without IPR, the music industry will have fear of creating and promoting their product. Most of the streaming websites and digital download websites are require having IPR to share product of the original company. In addition the U.S congress has enacted the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) to take action on distributing copyrighted. However, these laws have not fully stopped the illegal download websites (CQ Researchers).

Despite the rising mobile applications that reduce piracy, there are also other mobile applications that encourage unauthorized purchase of music. For instance, 27 million people in the US are believed to be using mobile applications to download music. Most of these purchases are done through smartphone and are usually unauthorized. Google Play allows customers to download music through 250 apps to their smartphones and tablets which are powered by Android software. Recording Industry Association has recently asked Google to remove most of its apps because they allow free downloading of music; hence promoting piracy.

The music industry had lost millions of profit and tried to fight back in the first place. One of the heavy metal bands named “Metallica” took their first step and sued Napster for violating the first amendment and IPR by sharing their songs without buying it.   (Forbes) In the result of the case Metallica vs. Napster, Inc., Napster were forced to block all music that was being shared from all of the artists and to pay 96 million for the price of settlement.

The record industry has also already lost millions of profit due to the illegal download of music over the internet. In addition, the RIAA also sued Napster for giving opportunities to millions of computer to share copyrighted music since 1999. The case RIAA vs. Napster, INC has prolonged for nearly eight years.  The Napster trial did not have enough money and became bankrupt, which lead them to loan from the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann paid total of 130 millions to the National Music Publishers Association to settle the entire copyright claim in the 2007s. (Wired) Although Napster is weakening and allow reopening for low-fee file sharing, there are still unlimited software allows the Internet users to download music illegally.

As the streaming technology got popular, people are easily of having a habit to watch the music video online than buying a CD to watch it. YouTube, one of the most famous video-sharing website, give the community a legal streaming on music video while television shows or movie does not have the legal right (MyDigitalLife). While people get to go on YouTube and listen to music legally, they can easily choose not to buy the music piece after they taste it. And many people will just create a habit of going to Youtube to listen to music.

Apple, one of the top admired companies in the 21st century, launched iTunes over 10 years ago. The app has changed since it was started. Before it was launched, people used the iPod which allowed them to carry and listen to pirated music. The CD was a common device to carry music at the time. Due to piracy issues related with the CDs and iPod, the music industry was keen to develop digital applications that could reduce piracies. As a result, Apple designed the iTunes app so that customers can purchase music legitimately from file sharing services such as Kazaa (Anderson 2013).

The iTunes app provided customers with the opportunity of paying a small amount of money for each song. When iTunes was launched, customers paid only $0.99 per track. This low cost led to increased customers in the music industry. Within the first few months when the app was launched, about 10 million songs were downloaded by customers. By February 2013, about 25 billion songs had been downloaded through iTunes (Anderson 2013).

Anti-piracy music apps have changed significantly in terms of software and hardware. As a result, iTunes has been able to legitimize digital music at a time when MP3s were becoming highly pirated. Anderson (2013) suggests that the future will be even more successful for the music industry as digital applications continue providing legitimate mechanism for the sale and purchase of music. Indeed, the consumption of music products through the web has reduced piracy significantly. Furthermore, it has encouraged the consumption of music products and services; hence increasing the income and profitability of the music industry.

However, iTunes still needs to innovate even further as the pace of competition in the music industry continues to grow. Easy access of valuable services through the web and mobile applications motivates customers to rent music through such apps as the iTunes. As a result, sellers in the music industry identify opportunities in such applications and use them to differentiate their products and services from those of competitors and meet the needs and interests of their customers. This leads to the development of other applications by other app providers.

 

Annotated Bibliography

Greenblatt, Alan. “Future of the Music Industry.” CQ Researcher 21 Nov. 2003: 989-   1012. Web. 3 May 2014.

Alan Greenblatt, a digital report from the National Public Radio (NPR), wrote this report “Future of the Music Industry” and concludes that the internet technology lead the music industry to a breakdown of making less profit and become less popular. Nowadays, when people who wanted to listen to a song, they can easily download it from the Internet illegally. My research paper focuses on how Internet has negative impacts on the society. This report is useful for my research because it reports the statistic on how many people download music illegally from Internet and shows how the music industry combat with the people that release music in the internet without copyright.

Greenblatt, Alan. “Impact of the Internet on Thinking.” CQ Researcher 24 Sept. 2010: 773-96. Web. 4 May 2014.

Greenblatt, argues that the internet has shaped people’s habit, behavior, and the way they thinks. Everyone in the society is addicted to Internet, especially teenagers. Greenblatt reports that internet has make us became smarter when he states “the Internet had helped create a “hive brain” that allows people to share thoughts and come to collective solutions to complex problems together.” He also mentions that youngest who use internet least tend to have better performance in school and happier than those heavy internet users. This report is useful for me to point out how internet change the way people thinks.

Clemmitt, Marcia. “Internet Regulation.” CQ Researcher 13 Apr. 2012: 325-48. Web. 4 May 2014.

Marcia Clemitt , a veteran social-policy reporter , reports that internet is harming the economy in a way of giving billions of people to download software for illegally. Although the U.S congress has enacted the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) to take action on distributing copyrighted, it cannot completely shut down the illegal websites that is outside of the country. Movies and Music industry worries about illegal download and affect the company’s profit, but nothing has yet fully stopped it. One of the parts in my research paper reports how internet technology affects the economy, and I can use this to show that government regulation did not fully stop people from illegal download.

Clemmitt, Marcia. “Computer Hacking.” CQ Researcher 16 Sept. 2011: 757-80. Web. 4 May 2014.

Clemitt also concludes that Internet is dangerous in a specific way. There are “bad hackers causing the government and cooperate computer system to lose billions of dollar annually.” Hacktivism is is against the law for most of the time. Clemitt points out a lot of example of cyber crime in her report. I believe that I can somehow include these example in my research paper to shows how dangerous is the internet.

Marshall, Patrick. “Online Privacy.” CQ Researcher 6 Nov. 2009: 933-56. Web. 4 May 2014.

Patrick Marshall, who is a contributing writer for CQ Research wrote about public policy and technology issue. In Marshall’s report “Online Privacy: Do Americans needs better protection?”, he mentions that the internet users are unaware of losing their personal information to other people. Marshall concludes that some people are not of comfortable of sharing their personal information in the Internet with all people, but to their friends. Marshall use Facebook as an example to show how people’s privacy are shown to the public and violated Canada’s privacy law. One of the part in my research paper focus on how the Internet technology harms people’s privacy and I will use this as an example in my body paragraph to support my claim.

 

Works cited

Anderson, Sean. iTunes at ten: how Apple reinvented the music industry. The Telegraph. 2013. Web. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/10019032/iTunes-at-  ten-how-Apple-reinvented-the-music-industry.html.

Clemmitt, Marcia. “Computer Hacking.” CQ Researcher 16 Sept. 2011: 757-80. Web. 4    May 2014.

Clemmitt, Marcia. “Internet Regulation.” CQ Researcher 13 Apr. 2012: 325-48. Web. 4    May 2014.

Greenblatt, Alan. “Future of the Music Industry.” CQ Researcher 21 Nov. 2003: 989-       1012. Web. 3 May 2014.

Greenblatt, Alan. “Impact of the Internet on Thinking.” CQ Researcher 24 Sept. 2010:      773-96. Web. 4 May 2014.

Marshall, Patrick. “Online Privacy.” CQ Researcher 6 Nov. 2009: 933-56. Web. 4 May      2014.

 

Web links

http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall2000/steinberg/lawsuit.htm

http://www.cnet.com/news/top-5-online-music-stores/

http://www.forbes.com/2000/04/14/mu4.html

http://www.wired.com/2009/12/1207riaa-sues-napster/

http://www.economist.com/node/21540234

http://www.mydigitallife.info/add-licensed-legal-copyright-music-to-youtube-videos-for-free-with-audioswap/

http://science.opposingviews.com/effect-mp3-player-music-industry-4612.html

http://www.livescience.com/20727-internet-history.html

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/the_great_transformer

 

 

 

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