Effects of Illegal Music Downloading on the Music Industry

Illegal downloading is commonly known as piracy, it describe that the steeling music from artists, songwriters, musicians, record label employees and others whose hard work and great talent who make music possible. Nowadays, downloading music is available for everyone on internet. However, it is still illegal. Downloading music on internet is what most people are doing because they do not have to pay, and they can choose only the songs they want to have. Unlike CDs which we have the whole album which might contain the songs that we do not want to listen to, plus we have to pay for it.

However, it is not always a good thing, it might be good for the people who download the music, but what about the music industry? Is it killing the industry, or does it have profits on it? This paper will discuss both pros and cons of piracy downloading on the Music Industry. One of the most important influences that internet piracy has had on the music industry is the sale of retail CDs. Until the past few years, CD sales were one of the key things that music industry insiders used in order to find out which musicians and albums were the most popular with the public.

As the world’s technology has been growing, it made the digital music and internet piracy growing too, sales of retail CDs dropped amongst younger consumers to such an extent that the best selling CDs on the market began to bear very little resemblance to the music that was actually popular with the young listeners that form the backbone of the music industry. For example, Bob Dylan’s album Modern Times quickly became the number one best seller when it was released in 2006, despite the fact that none of his tracks were highly requested on mainstream radio programs or popular with younger listeners.

The most well-known case that involves internet piracy and the music industry was when a group of major recording companies took peer-to-peer file sharing service Napster to court for facilitating copyright infringement in the year 2000. After the increasing of the internet piracy, A&M Records and other record companies sued Napster on three separate claims, and it was successful. These claims included accusations that Napster was response for allowing users to infringe upon existing copyrights and were even encouraging users to download unlicensed copyrighted materials.

When the recording industry won this landmark lawsuit, Napster stopped offering their file sharing services to users, and soon their company failed. The Institute for Policy Innovation make a conclusion that global music piracy causes $12. 5 billion of economic losses every year, 71,060 U. S. jobs lost, a loss of $2. 7 billion in workers’ earnings, and a loss of $422 million in tax revenues, $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes.

Today, most people who download music illegally do it by using new peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent. The BitTorrent protocol is for of handling a lot of data very quickly and is very popular for people who upload and download copies of movies and television programs that have no license. In more recent years, dozens of major record labels and Hollywood studios have begun offering legal videos and tracks through BitTorrent in order to distribute their content on their own terms and avoid the pirating of their content.

The Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that global music piracy causes $12. 5 billion of economic losses every year, 71,060 U. S. jobs lost, a loss of $2. 7 billion in workers’ earnings, and a loss of $422 million in tax revenues, $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes. However, there are some profits that the music industries get from the music piracy. One of it is that older music is still available. Because of the way contracts are constructed, artists do not own their own music–record labels do.

So when artists that change labels, their new label is not allowed to produce the albums the artist made on the old label, and if the old label decides not to release the songs, the music is dead. Music downloading is the only way for people to access these old dead songs. It can also make the artists still be famous over time because people still listen to their music even if they are obsolete. Another positive thing is that the not well-known artists become more famous, and their music albums also have better sales. 1. 87% of the entire music industry was controlled by 4 record companies. But most artists aren’t signed to these labels. As the results, most artists do not get radio play, and their music videos are usually in low quality and they are not usually shown on the television. Music downloading is great for lesser known artists to get the chance to be more famous. Most people won’t buy music they have not listened to. Music Piracy allows people who download music to experiment the unknown artists.

This kind of experimentation cannot hurt the industry, it helps the industry instead. As people would not have bought the music if they cannot download it, but downloading and having the music may either make them realize they like the music, and buy the albums, or share the music to their friends, who then might like the music, and by the album, or even go to the concert. These smaller, independent artists have been on the rise in the past several years, and they also make profits to their industry. According to the RIAA, only 15% of albums make money.

However, most record label contracts require that all costs for making the album be returned to the company, meaning that 85% of artists are in debt to their company after the records are released. Most artists repay this debt through money they got during concerts. And people who found out the artists through piracy may like the music enough to go to the concerts. The RIAA Consumer Profile in 2005 showed that CD sales at concerts have risen, it came from more people that go to join the concerts and more people that join these concerts do not own these CDs; both of this all came from online music downloading.

From my experiences, I usually download music from internet, and when there is some artist I really like, I will become their fans and buy their albums. It also makes me know more artists that I never know of, and that is how it makes them famous. This is not just happening to me, it also happens to most of my friends. These facts prove that the music downloading is not all bad, but it might be to some music industries which are not so famous Even if music Piracy is illegal, it is very hard for someone to control or forbid people from doing it.

It becomes part of the music society, everyone downloads music from internet. Some people do not even know that it is illegal because when they did it, nothing happened, no punishment or anything. However, it is also a good thing it benefits many things, both to the consumers and the industries. It might be bad for the industry in few years ago, but now people start to get use to it and make profits from it. Artists actually get more famous from it.

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