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Music Piracy: Should It Be Allowed?

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Music Piracy: Should It Be Allowed? File sharing is when people share files on their computers with other users. This is done across the internet and made possible by peer-to-peer programs. These files can be anything: pictures, text, pornography, movies, etc. I will be focusing on music. The issue is whether or not music or file-sharing should be legalized. When I first tried Kazaa, I was absolutely amazed. With my family's terribly slow internet connection, I would download as much music as I could. I would wait patiently, sometimes 30-45 minutes, for a single song to be downloaded. Then, one day we got a ADSL connection and no one could stop me from downloading music. In a rough estimate, I must have downloaded over 30 gigabytes worth of music in the past few years. That's a lot of music, music that I would not have heard, artists I would have not discovered, if it weren't for file sharing. But all good things come to an end. After losing legal battles with the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) ...read more.


According to Professor James Boyle's, this is an example of Clear Channels "McDonaldization" of radio. "Since Clear Channel controls the format and the play lists of the majority of radio stations across the country, the type of music that gets heard becomes limited to what Clear Channel programmers decide to include on play lists"(Boyle's). If the listeners don't like what they hear, they won't buy the music. Would the fact that almost every song on commercial radio is bought and paid for have anything to do with the narrow focus and homogeneous nature of radio? "What drives radio is advertising and money, not music. A lot of music gets left behind thanks to the current state of radio, that consumers are rejecting it shouldn't be surprising. They're creating their own MP3 play lists, and if the labels were smart, they'd be doing everything in their power to be on the play lists of radio stations. Instead, they scream copyright infringement and call their lawyers." (Boyle's) The second possibility is price. Music is overly expensive. ...read more.


It could be argued that MP3's are the greatest marketing tool ever to come along for the music industry. If your music is not being downloaded, then you're in trouble. If you can't give it away, you certainly can't sell it. There will always be a market for CD's because people, especially music collectors, want something tangible. Something with art and liner notes, that they can put on their shelves. I believe the Philosophy of Consumerism fits this topic to a "T". Consumerism is the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable. The third and final possibility is that file-sharing is helping the music industry. As I said at the beginning of the essay, file-sharing has allowed me to discover artists that I would not have discovered otherwise. Many times after discovering these new bands/artists I actually did go out and purchase some of their music. Sometimes I went to go see them play live at a local club. But even if I didn't go out and purchase a bands album, I am still benefiting them by downloading their music. If I like what I hear, they get free word of mouth. ...read more.

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