What can be done to protect musicians and music labels from piracy.

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What can be done to protect musicians and music labels from piracy.

        In this new age world, pirates are no longer identified by their black flags, skulls and crossbones. Instead, they could turn out to be the most ordinary of people, maybe even you or I, unknowingly. Surprisingly, the motives of these pirates, both new and old, are more or less the same: to get their hands on easy gold, in this case even platinum and diamonds. In case you have not guessed, I am referring to the issue of music piracy, and the rapid growth of this illegal trait.

        Music piracy comes in three different forms, mainly ‘counterfeit recordings’ (in which unauthorized duplication of recordings and packaging is carried out), ‘bootleg recordings’ (where music from live concerts and musical broadcasts are recorded) and ‘online piracy’, the most rampant of the three. In online piracy, copyrighted recordings are uploaded or downloaded via a computer and made open to the public. This is usually done through huge internet platforms whereby all the users there can share their music files. Examples of these platforms would be Kazaa, Audiogalaxy, Gnutella, and the all-notorious Napster.

        Well, you may not imagine how quick and rampant music piracy is occurring over the internet. For one, Napster alone had 51 million users when it was still in operation a year ago. Pool together the users of all the other file-swapping programs, and you could easily obtain a stunning figure of a billion people all over the world involved in online piracy. So, if downloading your favorite music were just a click away, at almost no cost at all, who would still buy original music at such astronomical prices?

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        The rapid growth in the number of internet users does not help the situation either. From an increase of 3 million to 116.7 million internet users over the past 10 years, music files are like viruses in an epidemic, spreading so silently and quickly. In fact, a survey conducted shows that over 3 million infringing music files are downloaded in just a day!  Just imagine!

        As the cost of living goes higher and higher, there are more pirates who go to the extent of burning downloaded music files into compact discs and selling themt for a mere two ...

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