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The Controversy Over Music Downloading Essay

2325 words - 9 pages

The Controversy Over Music Downloading

Imagine you are driving down the road, listening to the radio, and a new song begins to play that catches your attention. You decide, after listening to this song, that you enjoy it, so you listen carefully to the DJ to hear what the name of the song is and whom it is by. When you get home, you log on to your favorite music-downloading site and download the song that you heard earlier in the day. Would you consider yourself stealing and disobeying copyright laws? Many artists believe that people who are downloading their music are stealing from them and they are striving to stop it. On the other hand, many artists and music lovers are happy with the new technology of music downloading. I believe that there is a way to reach a happy medium in-between these two groups to solve this problem. With a few website modifications, along with some minor changes in the music world, we will be able to leave this problem behind us.

Thanks to today’s technologies, music can be compacted into MP3s and sent all across the Internet. MP3s use about a tenth of the memory that CD format does. This makes MP3s extremely popular on the Internet. Being of a small size, downloading speeds are faster, and hard drives can store ten times the amount of songs it previously could. Digital music is also popular because of its perfect reproducibility. Analog music can be copied, but the more copies you make, the worse the quality gets. Unlike analog music, digital music can be copied over and over again. Digital music, such as CDs and MP3s are made up of bits, which are 1s and 0s. You can infinitely copy 1s and 0s correctly, but imagine trying to copy something like the graph of a heart rate monitor. After you copy it a couple times, it begins to look different from the original graph. This, along with the fact that almost any song can be on your personal computer in a matter of seconds, makes music downloading popular. Such a large number of people downloading songs off the Internet brought upon many mixed reactions about legality and consequence.

Various artists argue that trading Internet music is beneficial to them and should not be shut down. Mainly smaller bands that are not on record labels get the most out of these sites. These bands have a hard time getting their name out, but they find that sites such as these work perfectly. Someone can download their song, or songs, and if they do not like it, they simply delete the song and waste only a couple minutes of their time. If the person does, however, like the song, the band has just earned a fan that is likely to support them later and possibly tell others about their music. Small bands are not the only bands that favor music-downloading sites. Limp Bizkit and Cyprus Hill went on a free tour in 2000 to sponsored by Napster. The Offspring are another group that sponsored Napster by selling t-shirts on their...

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