A man gets a choice between downloading an album for free, with a click of a button or driving down to a music store and paying $15 for the same album, and running the risk of not finding that album at all. What will choose?
In 1999, Sean Parker, John Fanning and Shawn Fanning developed a website called ‘Napster’ which first introduced us to the most important aspect of music piracy in the modern world, called the Internet. Free music was being shared through means of Internet and technology, and I strongly believe that this was the beginning of the still growing effects of music piracy. Music piracy can be defined as the copying and distributing of copies of a piece of music for which the composer, recording artist, or copyright holding record company did not give consent. It is considered a form of copyright infringement, which makes it a crime.(Siwek) Therefore, Music piracy is considered stealing. The 20th and the 21st century witnessed many controversies about copyright, the ethics and the treatment of music piracy. These controversies led to the rise of a worldwide argument on the topic of music piracy but nobody has been able to find a concrete solution to the problem. Internet has made illegal music so easy and accessible, making Internet one of the main reasons why CDs are slowly going obsolete. I believe that it is not the free music, which is a problem, but it’s the mentality of the people. Music piracy, with the help of technology is increasing at rampant and uncontrollable rates, and will continue to do so as long as technology exists, and the only way the problem of music piracy can be tackled is by working around the problem, rather than fighting against it.
Napster quickly grew in popularity, and was used by millions but this got the attention of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which is the governing for distribution of recorded music in America. They sued Napster, for “assisting others in the copying, downloading, uploading, transmission, or distribution of copyrighted musical work".(McComb) Napster was shut down shortly after this case, but what Napster did was influence other file sharing websites to emerge. Since then, millions of people all across the world have adopted music piracy as a regular practice. (McComb) Such a rapid rise in popularity of music sharing led to many music companies and labels coming out against the downloading of music, as it was a disadvantage to their business and its profits. Every Internet user has been exposed to an opportunity to download music illegally, and most of them have accepted it. According to a study done by digital music, the statistics, from monitoring service Musicmetric, conclude that in the first half of 2012, only United Kingdom users illegally shared over 40 million albums and singles.
With the world constantly adapting to the constant developments of technology, the question that needs to be addressed is whether it is really immoral to share music...