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Music Piracy

Music Piracy

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Published by: azadeh_knopf on May 25, 2010
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04/12/2011

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 Do new distribution platforms such as iTunes and Magnatune.com helpameliorate illegal music downloading?
GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY
 
Info- tech Arts1712QCM
 
 Azadeh Knopf 
Student number: 2743017
 
Word Count: 984
 
Due Date: 4
th
of May 2010
 
Queensland Conservatorium
 
Abstract
This paper draws on the impact and causes of illegal music downloading, andwhether legal online distributors are helping slow illegal downloading. Issues suchas economics and culture-jamming are examined as common causes that influencesociety to support unlawful music downloading. Recent data reveals that the onlineretailers are steadily growing in purchase numbers, but is unfortunately outweighed by the growing number of illegal music downloads per year.
 
1712QCM Info‐tech Arts 2Azadeh Knopf 
Introduction
Music Piracy is known as the illegal reproduction and distribution of soundrecordings. In present society, illegal music downloading is regarded as a rising problem as it poses risks to record companies and artists alike. New online musicdistribution platforms have produced what they believe is a solution.
Literature Review
Existing literature states that “… new technologies has resulted in an increase in theamount of copying that individuals are able to do…” and that this is a seriousconcern for the music industry (Frith, Marshall, 2004, p. 193). Adams agrees andstates that “Something has to change for the good of business and more importantlythe future of music” (2009, online). But why is all this illegal downloading andcopying a concern? Bangeman revealed that in 2007, a study showed results of howillegal music downloading can affect jobs in the United States, revealing that around27,002 people lost their jobs in the recording industry in that year alone. Also, music piracy affected the state and local governments with over “$422 million in lost taxrevenues” (2007, online).
When did piracy begin?
Before the invention of the audiocassette in 1977, illegal music copying was not amajor problem in society. Copying records was simply impractical. By the 1980’s,early signs of illegal music copying began with people creating ‘mix tapes’. Thisdidn’t cost the industry much money, how ever in 1982, the compact disc appeared, bringing with it a number of potential piracy risks (Millard, 2005, p. 2). Peoplewould simply copy CD’s and either pass them on to a friend, or sell them illegally.Then in 1999 the first Mp3 music tracks were distributed and Mp3 players were
 
1712QCM Info‐tech Arts 3Azadeh Knopf 
released onto the market (Bellis, 2010, online). Mp3 formatted music is usually moreaccessible and easier to download from the internet, and once this became available,it became easily to illegally copy music and distribute it online through peer-to peer networks, also known as P2P (Kayne, 2010, online). Once installed, this P2Psoftware allows for internet users to connect to website servers. It then locates a filethat the user requests from the server, and identifies different sources that have partsof or make up the requested file (Kayne, 2010, online).
Who or what causes piracy?
Economics
A study conducted in the United States in 2004 centered on illegal musicdownloading found that “…most (music) downloading was done over peer-to-peer networks by teens and college kids…” (Fast Company staff , 2004, online). The problem is that students cannot afford to fund their music purchases, so they illegallydownload from online streaming and websites set up by other students. Harmon believes that students “…often justify their behavior by arguing that CD’s are tooexpensive and that artists do not get the money anyway…” (2003, online).
Culture-jamming
Music piracy can be viewed as a form of culture-jamming, a method used by anactivist in attempt to challenge mainstream organizations or corporate advertising(Boden, Simon, 2002. p. 2). In this case, people are justifying their actions of illegally downloading, stating that the artists will not receive the sale money, andthey don’t want to support the music industry.

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