For many people, music is a large part of their lives. They listen to it to as often as they can. In their cars, while they work out, study, and many other daily activities. But does anyone think about how important music is to those who work in the music industry? Some people buy CD’s, others may buy digital copies online (often referred to as mp3’s). However, there are others who download free copies of music from file sharing websites, such as FrostWire and Napster.
This is a crime, and many people are not aware of it.
There needs to more stringent measure to protect the music industry from these acts of piracy and copyright infringements. Piracy has affected the music industry drastically over the years. It would appear all is well for those in the recording industry. However, the music industry is worth more than half of what it was in 1999 and the decline doesn’t look as if it will improve.
The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) reported that in 1999, the revenue for music sales topped $14.6 billion. Over time, total revenue from U.S. music sales and licensing plunged to $6.3 billion in 2009 (Alexandra. “The History of Recording Industry Sales, 1973-2010…”).
File sharing is the reason for the decline in album sales over the years. Because it is so easy to get free music, people do not find a need to purchase it. In 1984, the Supreme Court, ruled in the Universal City Studios vs. Sony Corporation case, that home recording of copyrighted materials, would be legal under the fair use provision (Stevens, Law of Cornell.). The decision was made so that it would be legal for home users to make copies of copyrighted material without obtaining any permission of the copyright holder to do so. This ruling covered music, television shows, and movies. Many people argued that they wanted to be able to use the recording devices that they purchased. There needs to be new laws to reflect the change in technology since that time. In 1984 we did not have the different file sharing sites that gave people the opportunity to upload their recordings. Piracy is very popular in many countries.
This is because many cultures are interested in the American lifestyle. It is very hard for other cultures to obtain American media, so they rely on file-sharing websites to stay connected. This has affected the American economy drastically. There has been a loss of around 71,060 jobs, a decrease of worker earnings of 2.7 billion dollars and a loss of U.S tax revenue of 422 million dollars. It is estimated that the cost of piracy in the global economy in 2012 was 35.4 billion dollars, and 12.5 billion dollars affecting the music industry individually. (Goldman,” Music’s lost decade: Sales cut in half”)
The U.S. government has attempted to prevent piracy by bringing lawsuits against companies such as, LimeWire, Mega Upload, and Pirate Bay. Sites such as these may be stopped, but within months another company begins a similar or more-improved service. “Would you go into a CD store and steal a CD?” questioned an angry Britney Spears in an industry-funded advert. “It’s the same thing, people going into the computers and loggin’ on and stealing our music.” Piracy is ruining the entertainment industry. The music industry has a diminished profitability, and significant job loss has occurred, and will only get worse, unless there are more stringent measures to regulate the internet and its’ file-sharing sites.