Moral Issues Of Downloading Music Essay

1747 words - 7 pages

If it is ok for a starving man to steal food if he has no money, why can?t a person download free music if he or she feels the price is too high? Peer to peer downloading and file sharing is one of the most popular uses of the internet within today?s generation. The downloading and sharing of files takes place in networks such as Limewire, Kazaa, or Edonkey which provide individuals the opportunity to search and download other on a unlimited basis. One of the important features that have lead to the success and popularity of this medium of getting music is the variety of music itself. Since there are so many people sharing and downloading music, the variety of music is greater, giving the user a various selection of music files to choose from. Another aspect of the sharing and downloading of music over the internet that has made it very popular is that it can perceived as a ?win-win? situation for both parties involved. The record companies are trying to put a stop to music downloading, they feel it is stealing copyrighted music they produced, even going as far as taking legal action on people who have downloaded their music. Is this just greed from the record companies? Accord to Allen Steven of the Los Angeles Time, album sales are not the top grossing income for artists and artists only receive one percent of record sales (08/21/00). The rest goes straight to the record companies. Record companies are making millions on record sales and they just basically represent the artist and song writers, who do all the hard work. Despite all the news about illegal downloading of music and recording companies pursuing lawsuits, the downloading and sharing will continue for decades.The history of music downloading started in June of 1999 and was create by a man named Shawn Fanning, the creator of the program, gave a version to a few friends for testing. He called his software Napster after a nickname in college (Napster: Music is for Sharing, Sullivan. Jennifer. Nov. 1, 1999 ). Fanning told the friends not to give the program out to anyone, but they could not resist because his friends felt it was such a great program. In the matter of a few weeks over three thousands started using Napster and that was Fanning knew it would be a success. Those few thousands began spreading the program over the internet and it expanding its user base quickly at a rate of twenty-five percent growth daily (Sullivan, Jennifer). By March of 2000 there were around five million users and still spreading at a rapid rate. When Napster was at its peak it had around twenty-five million users ranking it among the greatest computer applications of all times (Sullivan, Jennifer). Many recorded companies fought with Napster in court saying it was unfair to download copyrighted music for free; nevertheless, the record companies won and on February 2, 2001 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals shut down Napster, because it was a device that allowed the spread of pirated materials (Los...

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